Everyone has a story – Alison’s story

alisonandkimOn Sunday, January 12, four of us ran together at the WDW Marathon weekend to support our friend Kimberly Markey Torres.  Alison Jackeman Nicklas is one of Kim’s close friends.  This is her story…

    “In 2010 I made a decision to run my first Marathon after having lost 50 pounds. I knew the only way I could do it was by joining some type of running training program and I found out the the Hartford Marathon Foundation had a terrific program. They meet up on Saturday mornings at 6:30 in the Summer and that June they made their first run a short “9 miles.”
    When I arrived I was pretty nervous. So many runners that looked to be experts and here I was, having run as little as possible (although I had already completed 4 half marathons (without training for any!) As I was waiting for the training to begin, I looked over and saw this girl in a Goofy Challenge T-Shirt. It was from that very January and it was the COLDEST WDW Marathon Weekend – and I WAS THERE TOO! I didn’t run the Goofy, but my cousin did and I was so impressed to see that this young girl had done the same.
    I decided to strike up a conversation and we chatted about that crazy January weekend that none of us will ever forget. As the weeks went on, we became more than just training buddies – we became friends. We finished the summer program, connected with another runner (Janice Small) and made a pact that we would go for Goofy together in 2011. It was a crazy thought, but I thought that if Kim could do it, so could i! We have not missed a WDW weekend together since. In fact, we have also done the Disneyland Half together!
    In addition to training and running together, after our first summer running together as trainees, Kim and I became coaches for the Hartford Marathon Foundation and have supported more than 40 people through their very first marathon or their first “coached” training group. Kim and I participated in the RRCA Coaching class together and she has become family to me. She is not only fighting her own fight with breast cancer, she is also supporting my niece, diagnosed the same week, through the same fight. I am looking forward to many more years of training runs and races with her.”

I met Alison for the first time when I met Kim for the first time at the Cheshire Half marathon in April, 2013.  She is just as sweet as Kim.  We saw each other again for the #whyIRunDisney filming in December and we reconnected again in Disney and ran the 26.2 miles together.  She was the leader of the pack.

alisonDuring the race after the Expedition Everest roller coaster ride (which as you can tell here, she really loved!), her toe started to swell up.  As we entered ESPN she was visibly limping so we had to encourage her to slow down and do something about her foot.  Finally at a bathroom break she was able to elevate her foot for a while and it helped reduce the swelling along with drinking some more water.  But she never complained!  She kept leading the pack through the race course to get us to the finish line!  Yet another Dopey finisher.  I admire all you Dopey racers!  I am making a serious decision to decide to do the Dopey race next year.

I am looking forward to running more races with you Alison!  Hoping to run another 26.2 with you at the Providence Marathon on May 4th!


One thought on “Everyone has a story – Alison’s story

  1. I love that you shared Alison’s story! That’s awesome and I’m glad that you now are friends!!!

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