Sports Story: Running with a Purpose

It had stormed the night before and the ground was covered in a few inches of snow. Most would stay inside to sip hot cocoa, curl up with a book, or watch re-runs of Wheel of Fortune. Though the new day was bright and sunny, it was hardly a day fit for running a mile, much less 27 miles. But, Moré Suermann thought differently. It was January 27th, her birthday. To celebrate her golden birthday, Moré committed to run 27 miles that day. That morning, presents and a birthday dinner seemed far away. Moré would run those 27 miles before anything else. A friend joined her for the first four miles, but Moré ran the remaining 23 miles alone. Equipped with her iPod and warm running gear, Moré conquered the snowy trails in just over five hours. For Moré, it was an achievement and experience that she will not soon forget.

Running is a way to collect her thoughts and get away from the busyness of life. In May, Moré is coming up on her 3-year running birthday. She began running to support her best friend’s mother who had cancer. Her friend convinced her to run a 5K marathon for the Susan G. Komen organization and Moré was excited to be involved with the event, but had no idea how to formally train. So she didn’t. She only prepared herself by running on a treadmill. After the race, Moré’s body reminded her of the commitment she made, but also showed her that in order to continue supporting organizations through running she would need to run more often. It was not an easy task. Even as Moré trained, she encountered moments of difficulty. During her first half marathon, she lost two toenails during the race. Nineteen miles into the 2011 Shamrock Race, Moré’s knee went out. Though in pain, Moré finished the race. She realized that she was running not only for herself, but for her friend’s daughter who suffers from a rare neurological disorder, OMS. Though she’s “pretty sure a few tears were shed” and was out for six months after that race, Moré knew that she could not give up. She is inspired by those who encounter health and living difficulties and vows to run for them.

Moré has run for organizations such as Rhythm of Life. She also began a Facebook group and running fundraiser for her brother in Honduras who lost his house in a fire. Moré runs for reasons that are close to her heart. She knows that this keeps her going and pushes her to continue running. After the recent Boston Marathon attack, Moré has committed to running three separate marathons of 26.2 miles in honor of those affected by the attack. While the commitment may seem a lot, Moré says, “My pain is nothing like their pain.”

Throughout the ups and downs she has experienced during the last three years, Moré knows that running has made her stronger. For those who are interested in lacing up their own pair of running shoes, she offers advice: “Get plugged in with a group of people who are passionate about running”. Moré wants others to know that running is a huge commitment – it takes time and is physically demanding, but is extremely rewarding. For Moré, the physical aspect is important. She has toned her body and become stronger from building her endurance. After each knee injury, she was tempted to run before her body properly healed. She knows that taking care of her body is part of being able to run often. She powers through to continue her passion.

While running is a physical activity, Moré also sees it as a spiritual activity. She’s decided not to run with her headphones while she runs in honor of Boston. She will use her running time as a time for contemplation and prayer. Her prayer life has become stronger because she devotes much of her running time to push away the stress in her life. One of her favorite places to run is the Virginia Beach oceanfront, but she admits, “I always see God’s beauty anywhere I run.”

The aspect that Moré understands as one of the most important aspects of running is diligence. Moré says, “You must be willing to be diligent throughout the entire process.” Even in the toughest moments, Moré’s diligence has seen her through.

So go! Grab your running shoes, tie up the laces, and head out the door. Explore the world around you. Run!