Guest post by Molly Beeler
I set two personal goals for myself for my senior year of college, one for each semester: to run a mini-marathon (13.1 miles) and to run a marathon (26.2 miles).
In April, I completed my first mini-marathon and the first weekend in December I ran my first marathon.
I know I never would have achieved either of these goals had I not been an intern with the Kentucky Beef Council.
I spent two summers working for the beef council teaching people about how beef plays a vital role in a healthy and balanced diet.
Beef made up a large part in my training diet for both races and the entire beef industry has had a major impact on my life.
After running my mini-marathon in April, I wasn’t sure I would ever run a full one!
That is, until August when I worked at the Ford Ironman Louisville Triathlon for the Kentucky Beef Council.
The Kentucky Beef Council had the opportunity to be the protein sponsor of the most strenuous athletic event in the world.
I was there promoting beef, agriculture, and cheering on the magnificent athletes competing on behalf of TEAM BEEF!
I set a goal the next day. If those hundreds of athletes completed their 140.6 mile Ironman in less than 17 hours then surely I can run a marathon in less than six.
So on Saturday, December 4th, 2010 with my best friend Celeste and my mother cheering me on amongst the other 11,000 runners, I completed the St. Jude Memphis Marathon in 4:03.52.
It was the most incredible experience of my life and all proceeds from the weekend went to St. Judes.
I never dreamed I could run a marathon and more importantly I never dreamed it would impact me the way the entire weekend did.
I had spent the last fourteen weeks preparing for this race so it was a relief for it to finally be here but also sad because everything I had been working for all semester was coming to a close.
When picking out my running outfit I had to go with my racing Team Beef shirt.
This was my chance to be a part of Team Beef and not just be a cheerleader on the sidelines.
I received so much support from people in the beef industry and my t-shirt was an extreme motivator throughout the 26.2 miles.
As I ran through the course, runners, spectators and even police officers would yell, “Hey, I love beef too!” or “Keep going Team Beef” or “Hey, what’s with the I heart Beef Shirt?”
I always loved when they asked me this because I got to tell them about TEAM BEEF and why I support the beef industry.
As a runner, I know the importance of protein in a healthy diet and that’s why I choose to eat meat even the night before the race.
I’m a proud supporter of the thousands of beef producers raising wholesome, delicious and nutritious beef and I was honored to be part of their team and run for them in the St. Jude Marathon.
Molly Beeler spent two summers as an intern with the Kentucky Beef Council. She is a December 2010 graduate of Western Kentucky University, where she majored in elementary education. Along with reading, writing and arithmetic, Molly plans to teach her students where their food comes from.