Shirley Parry is doing the World Marathon Challenge for children who can't run

Shirley Parry from Rancho Palos Verdes, California inspiration and her reason for undertaking this herculean effort is to support the Orthopaedic Institute for Children and, in her words, “to run for children who can’t.”

“My participation in the World Marathon Challenge is designed to raise money and awareness for OIC, which helps children with orthopaedic trauma injuries and musculoskeletal conditions—such as cerebral palsy and scoliosis—regardless of their families’ ability to pay,” she said. “It is an incredible organization; and in the spirit of the 777 marathon, my goal is to raise $77,700 to support this wonderful institution.”

Parry, who recently completed her Ph.D. in education, has been an active member of OIC’s support group, the Charitable Children’s Guild, since 2012. Through volunteer and financial support, the Charitable Children’s Guild and its auxiliaries significantly strengthen the programs at OIC by focusing their attention on ensuring that children get the orthopaedic medical care they need to get the most out of life.

The first leg of the 2019 World Marathon Challenge will take place Jan. 31 in Novo, Antarctica, followed by Cape Town, Perth, Dubai, Madrid and Santiago with the final event in Miami on Feb. 6.

The event is a logistical and physical challenge as participants run 295 kilometers (183 miles) over the 7-day period and spend about 63 hours in the air flying to the next continent. Only 78 men and 28 women have completed the challenge since the event’s inception five years ago.

Parry started preparing for the mind-boggling feat one year ago when she paid the 35,000-euro entry fee (approximately $40,000) and started training to join the select field of 2019 international runners. It will be the ultimate challenge for this 54-year-old who began running in 2011 as a personal commitment to staying healthy. Since that time Parry has finished 16 marathons, including races in Berlin, Paris, Chicago and Los Angeles.

posted Tuesday January 15th