On September 14, 2012, Iris Stagner received her acceptance letter to run in the 2013 Boston Marathon. At 54 years old, Iris had run the Fargo Marathon earlier in the year with the hopes of fulfilling a long time goal of qualifying for Boston. She was thrilled that she had finally done it! Unfortunately, on September 17, 2012, just three days after receiving her acceptance letter, Iris was killed riding her bike west of Mineral Wells, Texas when she was hit by a negligent motorist.
Iris, a long time resident of Mineral Wells, had spent the previous fifteen years of her life dedicated to the sports of running and cycling, as well as motivating others to participate in these activities. Iris also volunteered as the Health and Wellness Coordinator at the Palo Pinto County Courthouse, where she worked for 20+ years, encouraging her fellow employees to be healthier and more active. In addition, she had become an advocate for runner and cyclist safety and awareness in North Texas and statewide. She was also a board member of Bike Texas, a non-profit advancing bike access, safety, and education in Texas. It was a sad irony that she lost her life doing something that she had worked so hard to make safer.
Iris’s spot in the Boston Marathon was not to be wasted though. As a way to honor her mother and carry on Iris’s passion for running, Iris’s daughter Felicia petitioned the Boston Marathon to let her run in her mom’s place. Although Felicia had not run a qualifying time at an approved marathon (Boston will be Felicia’s first marathon), her request was granted in November. Felicia was now an official Boston Marathon entrant, and it was time to start training!
Felicia, although already a runner, will spend over four months increasing her stamina and training her body in preparation for the 26.2 mile race. Felicia ran several half marathons with her mom, but she knows that doubling the distance is not an easy task. In the 4+ months of training, Felicia will run 3-4 times a week and put in almost 500 miles. She’ll run in the cold, the rain, and even the snow, but she knows that every step she takes has a purpose and that her mom is looking down on her and cheering her on.
To support Felicia in her efforts, and to contribute to the awarenes and safety of running and cycling in Texas, please visit the Donate page.