Photo by George Vasquez/Rico Photo

Photo by George Vasquez/Rico Photo

It was a chilly windy morning at White Rock’s Winfrey Point. Organizers of the Dallas Running Club’s Love the Loop 15k were cleaning up from the early event.

“The race was over and we were ready to head out when we got word from the race line marshals that there was still one runner on the course and that she was approaching the finish line,” says George Vasquez, the Dallas Running Club’s event photographer. “She was alone, and it was her against her willpower, against the cold and against the miles and she won.”

Vasquez and several other Dallas Running Club members gathered on the hill to cheer her in. She finished the 9.2 mile trek with a big grin.

“What some may not understand is that in a race there are many races and every runner has her own individual race to win,” Vasquez wrote in a Facebook post, where he shared his photo of the happy finisher.

The post touched hearts, it appears, based on comments that came pouring in from supporters.

“Tears in my eyes while reading this,” remarks one user. “Best moment of the day,” wrote a fellow racer.

Upon publication some 200 have liked, shared and echoed those sentiments.

UPDATE: 

When we posted this on our Lake Highlands Advocate website, we received the following comment from the runner herself:

LOL!! That’s ME! Thanks tons for posting about this. I love what you shared about perseverance. What you don’t know about me is that 1.5 years ago I had a serious stroke that resulted in cognitive, kidney, and heart damage. I was in ICU for 2 weeks, followed by a week in a hospital room, followed by a long recovery. The docs were insistent that I change my eating, lose weight, become more active, reduce the stress, and do everything I could to manage my life better so that I wouldn’t be die way too early. I’m a single, 43, African-American woman and all that felt like a huge up-hill battle that I wasn’t quite sure I could win. But with the help of an amazing support system that includes my family, friends, community group at Watermark Church, and random smiles from fellow runners at White Rock lake, i started the journey to better health. So when I ran the Love the Loop 15K, it wasn’t about running fast or hard. It was about just finishing. I can’t say I loved the wind and cold. But I DO love the fact that I’m alive and that I can still put one foot in front of the other. —Lexie Okeke


WANT MORE?
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.