It all started with a desire to get some exercise, and now a Carson City couple will run a marathon to benefit those living with cancer.
Hundreds of miles under their athletic shoes, a sprained ankle in the past and the satisfaction of raising about $5,400 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in their futures, Aubrie Li and Shane Ricketts are preparing for a 26.2-mile run in the Oct. 23 Nike Women's Marathon.
Li, 26, said Wednesday that getting up before the crack of dawn to run and keeping a balanced diet are just a few of their recent lifestyle changes. But that's nothing compared to what a cancer patient must endure.
"That's why we're doing this," said Ricketts. "At first it was about running a marathon but then I realized we're running for cancer patients."
He's running for a colleague, James South, who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer. Ricketts said it seemed like his friend became ill and was out of work so quickly. Li is running for her grandfather, Joseph Li, who has prostate cancer.
"Everyone's life is connected to cancer through someone they know," she said.
About 75 percent of the money they raise will go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
The couple joined the Team In Training, the world's largest endurance sports training program. With this program they learn how to go the distance. For the $125 it costs to join the team, Li and Ricketts receive coaching, seminars on important fitness topics and a running schedule. Li found out the hard way how important good shoes are.
"We were just running in our old shoes and I ended up twisting an ankle and I couldn't run for about three weeks - I'm just now recovering," she said. Now Li is sporting size 9 Sauconys. She wears them about a size and a half larger than her normal shoe size because feet swell while running.
Their schedule looks something like this: Monday, run six miles; Wednesday, 10 miles; Thursday, four miles; Saturday, 16 miles; Sunday, five miles. Before they leave for San Francisco for the long haul they will have had run one 22-mile stretch.
For the longer runs, Li carries in her waist pack a bottle of water, her inhaler and goo gel packets for that carb boost. Ricketts, who works as a brand manager for Vitamin Research Products, just carries water.
Li, a student and assistant at New Reader Service, said the marathon is in honor of women, but anyone can run it.
"Instead of a medal (for winning), you get a Tiffany's necklace," she said. "So it's kind of a frou-frou thing."
n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at email@example.com or 881-1212.
You can help
To contribute to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society:
Shane Ricketts and Aubrie Li will have a bake sale at Café Rico, 1987 N. Carson St., from noon to 3 p.m. Aug. 28. They are also looking for local grocery stores to contribute supplies for the sale. Li's contact e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or donate directly to their Web sites at: