Louisiana Women: Rachel Jillson, Ran 26 Marathons to raise money for a local non-profit

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BATON ROUGE, LA (LOCAL33) (FOX44) – A Baton Rouge woman ran 681 miles all to raise awareness and funds for Front Yard Bikes, a local after school program for kids.

When Rachel Jillson’s feet hit the floor in the morning, she literally hits the ground running.

“The alarm went off at 3:15 a.m. I’d get up and I would run what I could before I had to get ready and go to work,” Jillson said.

While the rest of us are sleeping she’s already put several miles.

“I could get 12 or 13 done in the morning and get the other 13 after work,” Jillson said.

She ran 26 miles a day for 26 days. To top it all off she is a mother of three and works full time as a physical therapist at Baton Rouge Orthopedic Clinic.

“I knew that one step at a time I’d get it accomplished.”

Over the last year she’s been training for the half iron man, but that got put on hold because of the coronavirus.

“I think for a while I’ve had this kind of whispering idea that became a talk and then a roar that I felt like I just needed to do something,” Jillson said.

She didn’t want her training to go to waste, so she found a silver lining.

“It just came to me one day because of the shut down, at that time, there wasn’t much I could do but put my shoes on and run,” said Jillson. “I decided to make a mind shift and go toward what positive can I make of this. What can exist purely because of the shutdown? I said you know what, I’m just going to run 26 marathons in 26 days and that’s going to be the goal.”

She shared her journey on social media in hopes to bring awareness and donations to Front Yard Bikes, a local after school program.

“They learn bike mechanics, wielding, gardening. If they work in the garden they get to keep the food that they grow. They can earn a little money, stay in school and learn a trade all in a safe place,” she said.

Her 26 day journey ended Saturday. A crowd welcoming her as she crossed the finish line.

“At the end of the day we all find some good in a situation that isn’t so good.”

A reminder that no matter what life throws at you, there is always something good, you just have to find it.

“It’s really where you want to put your focus. If you’re able to kind of shift a little bit and say let me create something good in this space where there is a lot of bad going on, and believe in yourself enough that you can do something challenging and tough, then you are going to get that done,” Jillson said.

Jillson raised over s$7,000 for Front Yard Bikes.

If you’d like to donate or learn more about her journey visit her FaceBook page.

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