Disabled marathon runner strives toward global goal - KPTV - FOX 12

Disabled marathon runner strives toward global goal

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TURNER, OR (KPTV) -

Running saves and running heals – offering temporary escapism from life's strife and stresses. 

Disabilities aren't holding back an avid marathoner from Turner. She’s not allowing a life-changing accident deter her from achieving a global goal. 

“I love running because it's kind of my time to work through things, just time to think about everything going on and sort things out in your head. It’s great,” said Wendy Garrett. 

Running is healing for Garrett. 

“For three years, I thought I wouldn't even walk again, let alone run,” she said. 

After college at Utah State, Wendy moved to Bermuda when her life took a painful turn. 

“I was heading to work one day and a car pulled out in front of me and I wasn't able to stop in time,” she said. “I hit the car and I was trapped under the bike and then I immediately had no use in my left leg.” 

Garrett has no use from the knee down on her left side. 

“Each time I am in a race, it's already emotional and exciting because I remember how I once was and didn’t think I was going to run again,” she said. 

Once a hobby, distance running is now a passion for the 39-year-old gymnastics and water aerobics instructor from Turner. 

“It also kind of gave me confidence and identity because my accident happened when I was about 33 and all of a sudden, I have to wear this leg brace and my life changed so I was a little self-conscious about it at first, so running has given me confidence and a purpose and I have had some loss in my family. I lost my sister and my cousin so it's been very therapeutic, so it's gotten me through some really hard times,” Garrett said. 

Hard times and times of glory, fitted in her orthotic after three years of searching for a solution.

“I was going doctor to doctor and no one could figure out what was going on so I finally went to doctor number 25 that helped me out,” Garrett said. 

And the Cascade High School alum has not looked back – competing and completing in some of the biggest races on the globe in Boston, New York, Chicago, Berlin and London. 

“Life is tough but I am tougher. That applies to everybody, no matter what your situation is. Tough stuff happens but we're tough. With the human spirit, it's amazing what we can do,” she said. 

Garrett is now training for Tokyo, bound for Japan in February. She’s striving to be the first person on earth with a spinal cord injury to finish the big six world marathon majors on foot. 

“I did Boston and then I got into New York and found out about the six world marathon majors and since I had done two at that point, I said, let's do it. Why not?' Garrett said. 

So what's around the bend after Tokyo?

“I will have ran on three continents and there is a challenge to run on all seven continents, so I already have plans to continue with that. There is a marathon in Antarctica. It is very small but very exciting,” she said. 

After her nearly four-year world marathon journey, Garrett wants to summit Mt. Rainier for her 40th birthday in July. She climbed Mt. St. Helens for the first time this past summer and opened up an entirely new bucket list. 

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