Meet Debra from our 261 Fearless Boston Marathon Team
We're inviting the incredible runners from our fundraising team to introduce themselves and tell us all about their running stories and why they are running for 261 Fearless. Meet our runner Debra Wray ...
How did you learn about 261 Fearless?
I learned about 261 Fearless at the 2015 Boston Marathon Expo. I waited over an hour to meet and talk with Kathrine. After crossing the Boston Marathon finishing line, it's my favorite memory - how personable she was, how she wanted to hear my story, hearing her inspiration, getting a picture with her, and having her sign her book, Marathon Woman. I proudly have it on display in my Marathon Guest Room.
Why do you want to run for 261 in Boston?
It’s Kathrine’s inspiration and bravery that embodies my love for running, and why I want to run for 261 in Boston. Running has taught me about determination, being accountable, trust, working as a team, and pushing my limits. Running has created so many opportunities for me and allowed me to accomplish challenges I never would have dreamed of. I have accomplished my goals of competing for Iowa State, a Division I, Cross Country & Track Team as a Walk-On, a Bachelors in Civil Engineering, a Masters in Engineering Management, becoming a Professional Civil Engineer, working for an Employee-Owned Fortune 100 Company, owning a home, traveling the world achieving the World Marathon Majors Six-Star, and the list goes on. There is not one day that goes by that I don't think about how grateful I was to have so much encouragement and support towards reaching these goals. I'm heartbroken that my Dad, my biggest fan, never got to see me become the strong, successful woman and runner I am today after suffering a heart attack when I was 11. I hope to instill my love for running to other women, especially in the KC Running Community!
What makes you Fearless?
Being Fearless means never giving up, being a leader, and empowering others to overcome challenges that build confidence. My favorite time of year, every year, is Corporate Challenge. “Kansas City Corporate Challenge (KCCC) is an Olympic-type event that allows companies throughout Kansas City to interact with each other through a variety of sporting events.” Similar to 261 Fearless, it’s embracing the social and fun side of various sports, as well as creating supportive networks. I love coaching our company’s Track and Half Marathon teams and encouraging co-workers to run and live a more active lifestyle.
What are you most excited about when it comes to the Boston Marathon?
I have a strong admiration for the Boston Running Community! I have run 14 Marathons to date, and the atmosphere in Boston is like no other! This will be my second Boston, but most importantly my first running as part of a team to support a goal! I’m excited to run for all those who donated to 261 Fearless, towards the growth of 261 clubs, instilling networking opportunities, and running opportunities for women to become fearless and build self-esteem.
What is your claim to fame?
My claim to fame is becoming All Conference, and 7/100ths from all State in Track in High School. Our Conference winning 4x800 time of 9:37.9 from 1999 still holds as the Rolling Meadows (IL) High School record!