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Why I Run: Barry Genzlinger

by jen on January 22, 2013 · 0 comments

in Why I Run

Meet 68 year old family man Barry Genzlinger from Milton, VT… Barry is signed up for his first full KeyBank Vermont City Marathon.

I was never a runner until 2009 when I was 65 years old.  That was the year when an unexpected event and a wish from my daughter got me going.

Timna in 2009

My daughter, Timna Dulmer, was pregnant with her second child in 2008.  In March problems developed with the pregnancy and the doctor put her on complete bed rest for the duration.  She could get up only to use the bathroom.  Near the end of her pregnancy she said that after being in bed for 100 days she really wanted to get up, get in shape and run in a marathon.  That was all we needed to hear.  Her husband, Wil, her sister Leah Follensbee, her sister-in-law Tara Genzlinger and I all said we would join her in a 5-person team and she could run the final leg.  In May of 2009, just 350 days after the birth of her second son, we all ran in our first marathon and cheered wildly as she crossed the finish line.

2010 Running for Leah

But that is not the end of the story.  We all planned to run again in the 2010 marathon.  But that was not to be.  My daughter Leah was diagnosed with breast cancer and at marathon time she was in treatment.  Her husband, Casey Follensbee, ran in her place.  He and I ran with shaved heads to show support for her, and the team ran with her in our hearts.  Tara crossed the finish line for all of us as we prayed for Leah to have a full recovery.

2011 Leah at the Finish ... Take THAT Cancer!

But that is not the end of the story.  With her treatment completed in 2011 Leah decided it was time to show her cancer who was boss by running a half-marathon.  We were ready to go with her.  We formed two teams, Timna with Leah and Wil with me.  Timna and Wil would run the first half and Leah and I would run the second where we could cross the finish line together.  Four days before the race Leah developed a serious chest cold and hacking cough that made it difficult for her to run more than a mile without being totally out of breath.  We all tried to convince her not to run, but she was determined, and that was the end of it.  Our team goal was to finish in under 6 hours, but it looked like that would not happen.  Timna and Wil completed the first half and Leah and I headed off.  The first 2 miles went perfectly.  Miles 3 and 4 were not so good.  At mile 5 Leah was ready to quit and told me to go on and finish.  I told her that I would be with her whatever she wanted to do.  We continued, alternating running and walking.  By mile 8 she was feeling better and we ran a few miles.  At mile 11 she was fatigued and started getting leg cramps but she would not stop.  At 12.5 she knew she could finish, but the time was against us.  We were coming up on 6 hours.  That is when she turned on the after-burners and we were in a full run.  With the finish line in sight it was all I could do to keep up with her.  We finished with a team time of 5:59:45.  Leah ROCKS

In 2012 we had another 5 person team with son Micah (his first time), Timna, me, Leah, and Wil at the finish.  It was a good run for all of us.

At the end of that run I announced that at age 68 I was going to run the full marathon in 2013.  I am running to encourage my children and grandchildren to be healthy and to remind them that they can achieve whatever they set their minds to.  Leah has joined me, along with a cousin from Pennsylvania.  The other runners mentioned above are forming a 5-person team to run along with us.  We are shooting for a 5 hour finish.

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