Heidi Gillenwater | 2019 C-VILLE-athon Finisher
This was my first year to attempt at the C-VILLE-athon. Previous years I have been focused on marathon training and therefore did not have most of the local weekend races on my radar. But this year was different. Although I started the year with the intention to run a marathon in May, that all changed in March when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This C-VILLE-athon turned out to be just what I needed. Each race completed was special for different reasons. The first 3 races of the year for me (New Years Day 5K, Haven 8K and Charlottesville 10 Miler) all happened before I started treatment for breast cancer and were each PRs; what a gift! The Kiwanis 4th of July 5K was the day after my 5th chemotherapy treatment and I was joined by my husband which was such a treat. Words can not describe how special and meaningful the Charlottesville 4 Miler was for me this year for obvious reasons. This race occurred 17 days after my final chemotherapy and therefore was a huge celebration for me. Then for the last 2 5Ks (Community Bridges and Shelter for Help in Emergency) my brother joined me. He is new to running and he had a blast. It was so fun for me to be with him for this experience. The bottom line is that this program provided me with the marathon that I couldn't do in May, and the community I needed more than ever this year.