Kristi Smith

Training for and completing a marathon is hard. Doing so with multiple sclerosis is impossible. Or is it?

When Kristi Smith was diagnosed with MS at age 27, she wasn’t running at all. But, three years later, a friend challenged, Kristi, who is now an attorney living in St. Louis, MO, with her husband, James, to complete a sprint triathlon. Before she knew it, Kristi was hooked on endorphins, participating in triathlons and half marathons routinely. But full marathons seemed a bridge too far. “I’ve started marathon training before,” she explains, “but always ditched it after a couple of weeks of 15- to 17-mile long runs. My body was in revolt for at least a day afterwards and didn’t feel great throughout the week. I couldn’t imagine continuing such training for another two months and was afraid of injury.”

Kristi’s perspective changed, though, after she read 80/20 Running and began to follow 80/20 training plans, discovering that not only was she getting faster with the new approach, but her body felt better throughout the process and she was no longer getting injured. So, with the 20th anniversary of her diagnosis looming, Kristi decided to participate in the Virtual New York City Marathon and use the challenge as a fundraising vehicle for the National MS Society.

We are happy to report that Kristi successfully completed her goal on Halloween—in a Wonder Woman costume. And not only that, but she raised more than $10,000 from family members, friends, and supporters in the process. She says, “I don’t think I would have considered training for a marathon (much less a virtual one) without the success I had with 80/20 training for my half marathons, and the marathon training program worked really well for me.”

Congratulations, Kristi!