Other Articles in this Category
30 minutes ago
49 minutes ago
2 hours & 34 minutes ago
Most Viewed Stories
Most Commented StoriesNo matches found.
Two moms raising funds to run in Boston Marathon
VICTORVILLE • Two local mothers have qualified for the Boston Marathon after taking many years off from running — beating the odds as well as their personal records while fulfilling lifelong dreams.
And although neither of the women have the means to pursue such an expensive endeavor, their dreams have inspired their support networks to rally around them, raising $1,422 in a single 5K fundraiser at Brentwood Park on Saturday.
“My goal was $1,000,” said Maria Serdinsky, who collaborated with David Coleman from the city of Victorville Parks and Recreation for the 5K. “It went above and beyond my expectations.”
In order to attend, however, the two women need to raise a total of $3,500 in order to run in the 26.2 mile race in Boston.
Vanessa Kline, 31, and Jen Francis, 38, say they had never run a marathon before and did not anticipate qualifying for the elite Boston Marathon when they signed up for the St. George Marathon, which was held in October.
“Every time I hit a mile marker, I knew I was going to make it,” said Kline when she recalled running her first 26.2-miler. “I knew we were both going to make it, and I was trying not to break down. It was very emotional for me,” said the Hesperia resident and mother of three.
But the road to marathon success has not been so easy for the two women. Both women took a long hiatus from running and, like most mothers, admitted to caring about the well-being of their families and careers more than their health. Weight gain and financial hardships added to their struggles but compounded their mutual desire to seek change. After talking it over with their families, both women joined local moms running groups and their love for the sport was renewed once again.
Serdinsky sings the praises of both women, but Kline’s story is one that she finds personally inspiring. Serdinsky said that Kline was in the Marines for a number of years and fell on hard times financially after she got out. Unemployed and overweight, Serdinsky said that Kline was ready to make a change. Even though she barely had money to buy running shoes, she found herself running with other moms daily, and her ability to lace up running shoes despite a hectic schedule inspires other women in their groups, explained Serdinsky.
“I’d gotten heavy from pregnancy and I wanted to be back in shape,” Kline said. “When I started running (earlier this year), that fire got lit again — that competitive spirit — I always wanted to be the best.”
Kline said that she began to train under the direction of local ultramarathoner Cheryl Zwarkowski and quickly began to see improvement. As her fitness improved, so did the rest of her life. Kline was able to find a steady job and now rides her bike 18 miles to and from work every day, often getting up at 4 a.m. to take a jog or running late at night with only the moon and a light strapped to a headband as a guide.
“They blew past their qualifying times,” said Alison Heagstedt-Lopez, lead organizer for High Desert Moms Run This Town. Because of their ages, both women had different qualifying times and both women finished under them. Francis finished in 3 hours, 30 minutes and 7 seconds; Kline finished in 3 hours, 32 minutes and 58 seconds. Both women say they have never ran a marathon before, but attributed this success to their dedication to themselves and one another.
“I know I can’t flake if she’s counting on me to go on a run with her,” Francis laughed. “She’ll call me or ride her bike over to my house.”
The two have been running partners since they met at a 5k in March and have been training together as much as possible ever since.
“The big deal for me is that I didn’t run for so many years,” Kline said. “If I can do it, anyone can do it.”
For more information or to sponsor Francis and Kline visit High Desert Moms Run This Town on Facebook or call Maria Serdinsky at (760) 900-8026.
Get complete stories every day with the "exactly as printed" Daily Press E-edition, only $5 per month! Click here to try it free for 7 days. To subscribe to the Daily Press in print or online, call (760) 241-7755, (800) 553-2006 or click here.