#GetPiggyWithTCH: Why I Run

In celebration of the Flying Pig Marathon's 20th Anniversary on May 5 & 6, we've asked some of our physician and employee runners to blog about their experiences, share tips they've learned along the way, and provide inspiration for those who might interested in participating this year for the first time, whether for the 5K, 10K, relay, half marathon or full marathon.

Are you planning to walk or run one of the events? Be sure to share your preparation and inspiration photos on Instagram, Twitter or our Facebook page using the hashtag, #GetPiggyWithTCH, for a chance to be featured on our social media channels! Our first feature is from Lana Lange, MD, from The Christ Hospital Physicians - Obstetrics & Gynecology, who runs each year in tribute to her sister. 

Why I Run

In 2011, my mother and sister decided to join the thousands of people who participate in the Flying Pig Marathon every year. They attempted to enlist me as well, but at the time, I was in residency and on call. Neither of them were seasoned runners, yet they registered for the 10K race and diligently began training. My sister was six-months postpartum and pushing her new arrival in a stroller; whereas, my mother was a relatively fit 50-something-year-old who preferred waterskiing and aerobics over the monotony of running. The duo finished in just over an hour.

Later that summer Leslie, my only sister, was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma. Her resection went well, her PET scans were clear, and her oncologist was reassuring. Optimism swelled among us. The following year, the three of us ran the race together. Though it is a common practice to "run for a cause", this one was certainly close our hearts. Leslie was alive and healthy enough to run six miles, and we intended to be at her side. 

Sadly, that was the last year Leslie would be able to compete. The cancer came back and consumed her quickly. She fought hard with many friends & family in her corner, but eventually succumbed in late 2013. My mother and I have made it our mission to run every year in her memory. Though I am normally one to conform to the pace that suits my mother, she typically admonishes me for it, insisting, "Leslie would be cheering us on, encouraging us to go faster." Wanting to emulate Leslie, I oblige by pushing my mom along the course. And while mom usually grins back at me through her grimaced, red-faced exertion, I must admit, we have incrementally improved our performance! In 2015, my mother had a broken tibia & fibula, so a friend of mine filled in, and together we tackled the half marathon. Mom returned with a vengeance the following year, and as she puts it, we hope to "never break the chain." Leslie was many things to a lot of people: a UC athlete, a high school counselor, a mother, a wife, a friend, a beloved daughter/sister and a running partner who is profoundly missed, but there is one thing for sure…as long as we are able bodied, we will "Leg it out for Leslie" at Cincinnati's Flying Pig Marathon.

Stay tuned to Healthspirations throughout March and April for more inspiring stories like Dr. Lange's.