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Why this Santa Clarita woman felt compelled to run the LA Marathon

Posted on: 03/20/2017 00:00

Sonia Seger ran the 2017 L.A. Marathon Sunday in memory of her father, Roberto Cruz, who passed away suddenly late last month.

The Santa Clarita mother of four had stopped training for the grueling 26.2 mile “Stadium to the Sea” course a month ago partly because her training conflicted with a yoga class she needed to become a yoga instructor. Then when her father died, she felt “too broken” to do anything, she said.

Despite not having trained even once in the past four weeks, Seger said she prayed about it Sunday morning and decided ‘OK, let’s do this.”

“He was always so proud when I would (run) it,” an emotional Seger, who also ran the marathon last year, said of her father at Dodger Stadium. “He used to brag about it to his friends.”

As she ran the marathon on Sunday, Seger talked to her father the entire way.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God, Dad. ... I know you’re with me and I’m going to finish this,’” Seger recalled after the marathon. “I’m doing this for you.”

Intense cramping and various pains in her body — including a blister on her foot — enticed her multiple times to give up. But the memory of her Tijuana-born father with a big mustache and an even bigger heart pushed her forward.

“I shared stuff with him that he literally took to his grave,” Seger, 43, said. “When I divorced, he moved in with me and helped me raise my children.”

Seger not only finished the race, but also beat her personal goal of 5 hours and 30 minutes. She came in at 5 hours and 26 minutes, she said.

As she crossed the finish line where her family was cheering her on, she exploded into tears, she said.

“I feel like I made him proud one more time,” Seger said.

 


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