Gerards at the Austin Marathon

Sisters go the distance

For the Gerards, the family that runs together stays together. Although these four sisters and former Georgetown residents live miles apart, they returned to central Texas in February 2017 to run in the Austin Marathon. Here, they share why:

Athletic Legacy.   Connecting through sports runs in the Gerard family. Parents Pat and Jacqueline met through collegiate-level fencing. Their daughters played soccer and other sports growing up and developed a healthy sense of competition

Compete to Stay Connected.   As adults, the family is spread across the United States, the parents in Georgetown, Stephanie in Dallas, Danielle in Friendswood, Leah in San Jose, California, and Annick studying in France and California. Leah was looking for something to connect the girls when she decided to run the Austin Half Marathon in 2016 and asked her sisters to join her. “I knew they wouldn’t be able to say no to a competition!”

After completing the half marathon, they set their sights on the full 26.22 miles in 2017.

Long-Distance Training.   Most of their training was remote. They stayed connected by comparing notes on a family group chat. “Our competitiveness with one another was lively and motivating week after week,” Leah says. “As the race got closer, so did the FaceTime chats and phone calls.”

Race Day!   Stephanie and her husband, Andrew, ran together and finished first together. Danielle hurt her knee in mile 22 and wasn’t sure if she could continue, but Leah and Annick stayed with her, and all three finished in sync. Pat, Jacqueline, and Danielle’s husband, Ethan, made a total of ten stops along the path in downtown Austin to cheer the runners on. “Running a marathon is all about mental strength, and having so much support from one another was overwhelming,” Leah says. Three of the sisters have already signed up for future marathons and half marathons together.

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