It was exactly 4 years ago that Dicks Sporting Goods shared a video series called Every Runner Has a Reason, A thirteen part web series about runners and what they run for. I was lucky to be featured in one of those videos. I hadn’t started my blog yet and I thought I’d share a little bit about that experience on this 4th anniversary.

Every Runner Has a Reason

Every Runner Has a Reason

It all started through the social media world. Someone knew someone on Facebook who worked for the agency that was tasked with this campaign and had posted a request for stories. My friend Lisa and I submitted our story and the rest was history.

Lisa and I worked together and she was well into her pursuit of completing a marathon in every state, one of many running goals that seemed impossible to me, a girl who loved to exercise but was not a runner. I was intrigued by Lisa’s running goals, and where running took her. She had an amazing circle of running friends that met often to train and then travel to various states throughout the year to run a marathon.

More than 5 years had passed since my husband died of cancer. He was 29 and I was 25 and I was feeling fairly blah. I was going through the motions of life but didn’t have anything to get excited about and felt like I wasn’t fitting in with most of my friends who were either getting married, having children or moving forward in family life. Lisa helped inspire me to start running. First a mile by myself. Then a few miles with her running group and in 2006 I ran my very first race, a 4.8 miler in Central Park. I was hooked. Each year I only became more and more excited about it all. Running, friends, traveling….I felt like I had finally found an identity that could replace “widow”. Sally, the runner sounded and felt so much better than Sally, the widow. I had found a “family” and felt complete.

a behind the scenes shot during filming of the video. The crew was so great. They loved Duncan and worked hard to make sure he wasn't in the shot. :)

a behind the scenes shot during filming of the video. The crew was so great. They loved Duncan and worked hard to make sure he wasn’t in the shot. 🙂

It’s hard to believe that I’ve run over 35 half marathons and 7 full marathons over the last decade. If it weren’t for Lisa I don’t know where I’d be today. I’m grateful to Dicks Sporting Goods for finding our story compelling enough to use in their campaign. They even made a TV commercial using snippets from each of the videos.

Without further ado, here’s the video: (note: some of you might have already seen it as I link to it in my about me page.)

You can also read more about my entire experience of filming (including being part of a photo shoot in Charleston, SC too) when I documented it here in my 2013 recap post.

What’s your reason? What do you run for?


  1. You have such an amazing story – parts sad, parts incredibly hopeful… definitely inspiring! What an honor and a tribute – to your husband, to your friendships, to your hard work – to have it documented. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. P.S. I’ve seen the video a couple times and I always tear up at the end when you say, “She saved me.” You are so genuine and so obviously grateful – it’s just really beautiful.

  3. I love the end too but wish she would’ve given you a hug!!

    • That last scene was literally after we thought our filming for the day was a wrap. We were giggling and being so goofy after following the director’s instructions for a few hours to capture the trail running scenes. Lisa’s shoes were 2 sizes too small and we both were joking about what life must be like as a model. And then the director just blurted out this question to me about how Lisa has helped me. I don’t think I had ever verbalized out loud the words “she saved me” before so it caught me so off guard and I was behind her and I don’t think she even processed what I had said. We hugged a whole lot later that day.

  4. Wow! What an amazing and incredible story. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Sally that is beautiful. I follow your blog and comment now and then. Your “genuiness” shines through. I run for so many reasons you stated. We runners get each other. We are special peeps. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting. Yep, I sure am as authentic as they come. And an open book 🙂 I love the running community so much and I totally agree. We runners get each other. Happy running!

  6. Wow- that is a great video . I’m sorry about losing your husband at such a young age. However, I’m sure he’s proud of you right now for channeling that grief into something that is good for you.
    I began running 25 years ago(!!!) injunior high and have been more consistent with it in the last 12 months than ever. My reason isn’t obvious- it’s just part of who I am. I am a runner. I’m not fast- solidly middle of the pack – but I swear I’m a poster child for exercise endorphins. I hope to continue running forever!

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