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From mom to marathon runner

'Regular' Whitewater woman becomes super-woman

Donna Lenz Wright/The Week

(Published April 15, 2007, 3:19 p.m.)

Shelly Bucholtz, 33, of Whitewater, is the mother of 10-year-old Tanner, an employee, a daughter, a sister and a friend. She’s just a regular person like the rest of us.

She was, that is, until January when she decided to accept the challenge extended by her brother, Ray Bucholtz, to run a marathon to raise money for charity.

“When he e-mailed me and asked me, I said, ‘Yeah right.’ I was never a runner. I couldn’t even finish a mile.”

Just last weekend she passed a huge milestone; she completed a half-marathon—13.1 miles.

“It was an amazing feeling,” she said. “I never would have thought I could do it. But I did it—I finished a half-marathon.”

Bucholtz is training with Team In Training (TNT) and raising funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma from taking more lives.

She will run in the Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon in San Diego, Calif. on June 3. It’s a 26.2-mile marathon that travels a figure-8 through the city past parks, historic districts the San Diego Zoo and other popular sites.

But before she gets there, she’s got lots of miles to tack onto her running shoes. With the support of TNT, she has no doubt she’ll be ready.

She runs six days a week with an extra long run on Saturdays. She heads out right after work, many times with Tanner riding her bike alongside her.

TNT holds frequent group runs and coaches individual runners through their training.

“Their support is so important,” Bucholtz said. “Last weekend people were cheering each other on. The other people in the race—even the really good ones, as they were passing me—were saying, ‘Good job.’ It was pretty neat. We were all a team doing this together. And I didn’t finish last.”

Ray brought Tanner to the half-marathon to support her too.

“Where they could, they drove up to me and cheered me on. I could hear her saying, ‘Run, Mom, run.’”

While she feels great about raising money for a great cause and doing positive things for her health, she hopes the biggest impact this challenge has is on her daughter.

“I’m excited she gets to see me push myself to do something I didn’t think I could do. I hope she uses it as a lesson for herself in life.”

For more information about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, visit www.leukemialymphoma.org. For more information about Bucholtz’s journey or to pledge her run, visit www.active.com/donate/tntwi/michelleruns.


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