24 Hour Runner: Steph McGinley
There are two things that Steph McGinley won’t shy away from: helping others and frighteningly long endurance events. That’s why she so enthusiastically signed up to be a 24-hour runner at PHL24 2019.
“I have participated in a few 24-hour races previously, so I knew I’d be up for the challenge, at least endurance-wise.” Steph said. As a 4-time finisher of Back on My Feet’s 20 In 24, she has an impressive PR of 76 miles. “What really brought me to this event was learning more about Legacy of Hope’s mission and seeing the impact that they’ve had in the Philadelphia area.”
Steph’s connection to Legacy of Hope began earlier this year as a participant in the Love Run, which benefits Legacy of Hope. She sees PHL24 as a continuation of her efforts, both physically and financially.
“This event raises awareness for the financial struggles that cancer patients can face, which is so important. I wanted to do something that can help,” Steph said. “I know there are so many who are in need of the services that Legacy of Hope provides.”
Like many others, Steph has first-hand experience with the pain that can be caused when a loved one faces a cancer diagnosis. She is climbing in memory of her cousin, Sara Jones.
“Sara lost her battle with cancer in 2015. She was one of the kindest, smartest, and most caring people I will ever know. I have seen the impact she had on so many people throughout her life,” Steph said. “It can be hard, but hopefully I will make my aunt and family proud.”
Steph’s focus on her family will be her motivation when the 24-hour event gets tough. She encourages the other participants who might be nervous about tackling an endurance event to remember that showing up is all that matters. When the going gets tough, she likes to quote Snoopy: “Keep looking up, that’s the secret of life!”