SCHERERVILLE | Athletes are coming from all 50 states and 100 countries for the annual Bank of America Chicago marathon today at Soldier Field, according to Chicagomarathon.com. This includes Brenda Slusher, 25, a Schererville resident, who hopes to carry more than herself across the finish line.
In the course of training for her first marathon, Slusher received the news that she was expecting her second child. Already a mother of one, daughter Sofia, Slusher decided to move forward with training and her plans to run the marathon, after clearing it with her doctor, of course.
“He was excited,” said Slusher. “He told me I was a strong woman, and I would be fine.”
Slusher plans to pace herself throughout the race and has selected times where she would be walking.
Slusher began running half marathons earlier this year, including the Sunburst Half Marathon in South Bend.
“It was hard at first but I became addicted to running,” said Slusher, who began her journey as a workout to lose weight. “I wanted to get healthier for my daughter. She is the strongest person I know."
Sofia was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth. After undergoing double knee surgery less than a year ago, Sofia will be her mother’s inspiration to complete the race.
“I want to run every mile that my daughter couldn’t run while she recovered,” said Slusher.
Friends and family as well as Sofia will greet Slusher near the finish line, but because of the events that took place during the Boston marathon, security measures have been changed.
“I planned to have my daughter run to the finish line along side,” said Slusher. However, the start and finish line will be closed off to the public this year.
Not only will Slusher be running the race for her daughter, she will also be raising money for the Ronald McDonald House Charity.