MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – At 8 a.m. on Sunday morning, thousands of runners will toe up to the start line for the thirtieth annual Twin Cities Marathon.
The 26.2-mile race starts at the Metrodome, winds around the chain of lakes in Minneapolis, follows the Mississippi River into St. Paul and ends at the capitol.
Many of the runners have a special reason for participating, and one runner is running for something bigger than himself.
Kelly Lund is training for a marathon. He’s already run 37 of them, and it is running that has shaped his life.
It was a running club that he met his wife, Tina, to whom he has been married for fifteen years. Although that is a long time, Kelly has been running with his best friend, Fred, for longer. Kelly and Fred plan to run the Twin Cities Marathon together, but this year the run will be different.
Ten months ago, doctors diagnosed Kelly with stage four brain cancer.
On being given such grave news, Kelly said, “The end is shorter.”
But instead of starting chemotherapy immediately, he delayed treatment in order to run the marathon with his friend.
“It means a lot to me,” Fred said. “It means a lot to me, because it means a lot to him.”
Kelly And The Race Of Life
“I’m not afraid,” Kelly said. “I just feel that it’s me, and I’ll go through with it as I should.”
Kelly’s family and friend are currently celebrating his life and saying the things that are often left unsaid in times of good health.
“Everybody loves [Kelly],” Fred said. “He’s a great guy, doesn’t have anything bad to say about anybody, couldn’t ask for a better friend.”
At such a time as this, Kelly’s influence gives strength to those he loves.
“I know that I will make it through,” Tina said. “I’m thankful for the life I’ve had with Kelly.”
Tina will cheer as she watches Kelly and Fred on Sunday. Kelly won’t likely run as fast as he has in the past, but that won’t matter.
“The run itself won’t probably be that good of an experience,” Fred said. “But we’ll get through it, and whatever we are going to do, we’ll do it together.”
Kelly’s outlook on life will also leave a lasting resonance with his family and friends.
“Take advantage of anything you see,” Kelly said. “Be positive, be honest, and nice to people.”
Kelly has, and this weekend’s marathon will showcase those qualities.
“I’m the most thankful woman in the world,” Tina said. “He’s my strength, and he’s going to live forever in me, in my heart.”