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Local marathon runners don‘t let pandemic slow them down

The coronavirus made sports come to a screeching halt, but local marathon runners are not letting the pandemic stop them from achieving their goals.

“When it was canceled, we were bummed,” explained 26-year-old Correy Dowd. “But I didn’t want to let it upset the goal of running a marathon while I was still 26.”

Dowd is a self-proclaimed military brat who went to Terry Sanford High School in Fayetteville. Dowd was set to run the All-American Marathon at Fort Bragg to pay tribute to her father who served in the Army for 32 years.

“One of the main things he taught me was perseverance and resilience and growing up as an ‘Army kid.‘ That’s huge,” Dowd said.

Instead of getting down, Dowd and her friends mapped out a route in downtown Raleigh so she could run her own marathon. She finished in four hours and 40 minutes.

“Every leg of the run, people would show up and run it with me, which was really, really cool. It made it so much easier to do, and I felt so much more supported in it,” Dowd said.

Lisa Fleming is an ultra runner. Yes, she runs 100-mile marathons.

“As time went on, and they were canceling races, I was like, ‘Oh Darn!’” Fleming said.

Fleming has already finished the Umstead 100 three times. When Fleming found out this year‘s race was canceled, her family and her friend, Nora, mapped out a virtual 50-mile course.

“It was a good accomplishment. It felt really good because I wanted to do the full 100 miles, but I thought realistically if I could get the 50 miles in, that would be great,” Fleming said.

Fleming finished in 10 hours and 45 minutes.

Even though both ran in solitude, they didn‘t let their hard work go to waste

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