JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- They lined up to sign up - everyone with a different reason.
There's Loanna Dempsey who started with our 5K. "I ran your race on Mother's Day and I came through this with tears in my eyes. I knew I had done a good thing," she said.
It's personal for Dempsey who lost her aunt to breast cancer and her mother to ovarian cancer. Now she's ready to go the whole 26.2 for herself.
"My mother had a lot of health problems. She had Type II diabetes and I know that can be prevented with exercise. It's just a good idea to move your body and get off the couch," Demsey said.
Nicole Jacker has been a volunteer at the race for years and now she's ready to run.
"I got motivated because we were at the booth and I saw other people running and I said I wanted to do this. Now I'm putting my money where my mouth is," she said. "I brought my friend Deborah, and we're both running. But let's not get crazy, we're only running the half marathon."
Half marathon or full, Matt Gardner said he signed up because he likes the idea of training with a group.
"Especially training for a marathon. When you get up to the 17 and 20 mile runs it's sort of a misery loves company thing. You get the support, all the people out there with you," he said.
Our running coach, Jeff Galloway says the group is a huge key to success. Ninety-eight percent of people who train with a group will go the distance.
"It gives you a better attitude. It brings you together, mind, body and spirit. As you push the limits it just gets better and better," Galloway said.
The first training run for the 26.2 with Donna Getting Started program for beginning runners is this Saturday at the Riverside YMCA at 7 a.m. More experienced runners will begin training July 24th.
For more information, become a fan of 26.2 with Donna on Facebook.
First Coast News