Hello, my name is Katherine Somerfield but you can call me Kathy for short. I’m a mother of four boys and I’m currently working as a paraprofessional/assistant swim instructor at Elim Christian School in Palos. I love my what I do! I love seeing a smile on a kid/ adult face when they learn something new! It’s such a rewards job to have.
A little bit about my running: I ran track and cross country for Shepard for four years of my life. I ran my very first half marathon with my mother-in-law in 1989 when I was just 18 years old, back then I just run to escape my past. After high school, I never really had to time to run, so I gave it up.
In 2012, I decided to run the Chicago Rock n Roll for ALS (Les Turner Foundation). This was the organization that had help my family with my mother-in-law when she was diagnosed with ALS. Without their help, I would have never been able to help her. I will still remember the night I sign up; her health took a big turn that next morning. She was the one that brought me back to running. She was the one to talk into running it, it was all her. She was the marathon runner, not me, she ran each day of her life until ALS took it away from her. After she left, I ran each day trying to figure why it was her time to go. Just four months later I developed a stress fracture on my tibia and I tore my meniscus on my right leg. This was so devastating for me, I couldn’t run, let alone walk, so I ended up sitting on the side line watching everyone run Rock N Roll, except me. It was one of the hardest years of my life.
The following year I came back a stronger runner, I ended up signing up for Rock N Roll that year and ran my very first Chicago Marathon in memory of her. I had no idea what I can do. I just ran what I thought, and some fellow runners thought I was taking on too much, shooting too high. I couldn’t even figure out what my pace should be, I felt lost. I kept changing my pace trying to figure out what I should do. I remember a couple guys kept telling me that I’m running to fast, that I wouldn’t be able to qualify for Boston on my first marathon or even can break a 3:45 hour mark, I was too inexperienced to do these things but it didn’t stop me. My longest run was only 20 miles, so when marathon day came, I just ran. When I hit the 21-mile marker, I just kept thinking about what she had to go through which kept me pushing forward. I finished my very first marathon with a time of 3:33:08, finished in the top 90 percent of runners and qualified for Boston! That was all because of her, she gave me the strength and the courage to push forward. I cried like there was no tomorrow when I crossed that line, and maybe you will too. You will never ever forget your first marathon, whether it was a great run or a run that didn’t go as planned, but when you run, find something that means a lot to you and you will find the courage to run 26.2 miles, trust me, I did!