Elizabeth Barry began running track and cross country at a young age.
Twenty years later, she has a goal of running in all of Nebraska’s 93 counties, one of which will be the Monument Marathon in September.
“I just love the state of Nebraska and I love to run, and it was a great excuse to go out and visit places I normally wouldn’t go,” Barry said.
The Monument Marathon is a race which Barry says she has been looking forward to, and will be especially significant as she continues to work toward her goal. She will also be running alongside a number of her friends who have accompanied in her running over the years.
“I just love western Nebraska, and I have wanted to do the Monument Marathon for two years now. It just has never worked out for one reason or another. So I am really looking forward to coming to race, and maybe stay a few days to visit,” Barry said.
Barry said when it comes to running, she believes people either love it or hate it, but she recommends people to join in the running and racing community.
Of the 93 counties, Barry said she has quite a few counties marked off her list, but quite a few to go.
“We used to laugh, you know, when we had done seven (counties), you know we thought that was great. And then it was 10 and now, holy cow, we are almost two thirds done,” Barry said. “I currently have run in 58 counties”
As a runner in high school, Barry said she had limited success, but enjoyed competing from a young age. She continued to run over the years to keep in shape, then getting back into a competitive mindset when she turned 30 and raced her first marathon.
“I ran the Twin Cities Marathon in 2010 and that really got me hooked again into competitive running” Barry said.
Three years later, Elizabeth said, she began her county runs on a whim as she was motivated to travel across her home-state.
“I am not on a timeline, and I have a few people that run with me when they have time, and we go and have a good time” Elizabeth said.
Not only has she competed in races across Nebraska, but she continues to compete across the country.
“In the last ten years I have run 11 marathons, including the Boston Marathon” Barry said. “We go all over and I have gone to a different state for all of those, I have run a couple (marathons) in Nebraska.”
As an experienced runner, Barry said, she follows a training regimen beginning months prior to racing a marathon, running five to six days a week as preparation.
Barry said she will begin training in the upcoming weeks for the Monument Marathon and is looking forward to checking another county off her list.
The Monument Marathon will be held on Sept. 26. For more about the marathon, visit monumentmarathon.com.