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by Beth Roessner May 8, 2018 at 3:00 pm 0

Brandi Neifert and Sara Gordon get together for a run through Georgetown. Photo: Marleen van den Neste

After dealing with injury, the 2017 Chicago Marathon was supposed to be Kathy Hoenig’s big return back to marathoning after a five-year hiatus. At mile 13, she felt awesome. At mile 14, she felt like death.

“I never thought I was never going to finish a marathon,” said Hoenig, of South Riding, Va. “But I didn’t think I was going to finish this race.”

Her legs hurt and her stomach felt queasy. She switched to straight walking around mile 16, as it was the only way to keep moving forward. Finishing the race felt out of reach. Her goal switched from one of time to one of simply crossing the finish line.

Twenty-two miles in, she heard the kind words, “Are you okay?”

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