Crossing the finish line for cancer

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Over the past four months Senior Airman Kira Holley, 566th Information Operations Squadron, raised money and trained hard for the Steamboat Marathon. With help from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training program, she was able to turn a dream, all 26.2 miles of it, into a reality for a good cause. 

"I have wanted to run in a marathon for a while, and then I saw a flyer for Team in Training," said Airman Holley. "So I just did it!" 

Team in Training is the world's largest endurance sports training program. They train average people from all over the country for marathons, half-marathons, triathlons and century bike-rides. In return for the high quality training provided by the certified trainer of the organization, the volunteer participants agree to raise a certain amount of money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. 

When Airman Holley signed up for the challenge, she knew she had her work cut out for her. To train for the grueling Steamboat Marathon, she would run six miles or more, five times a week. In addition to that, every Saturday, she ran up to 20 miles with the rest of her Team in Training group. 

"Without my group, I don't think I would have been able to keep running," she said. 

The real challenge, however, was not training for the event. Airman Holley needed to raise $2,300 if she was to participate in the marathon. 

She says the experience of trying to convince people to donate to her cause left her more likely to help
people out and give to other fund raisers. 

Throughout the rigorous training and the frustrations of fund raising, Airman Holley remained optimistic. 

"The people that I am helping have gone through so much," she said. "Their situation makes me feel lucky and my problems don't seem so big anymore. This is the least I could do for them." 

Airman Holley finished the marathon in five hours, 35 minutes, placing 295th out of 325 runners from all over the country. 

"This was the hardest thing I have ever done, but now I know that I can set any goal and I will have the determination to reach it," Airman Holley said.