PLATTSBURGH - Although she came in last place, Martha Breyette of Saranac feels as though she won the city of Plattsburgh's first half-marathon.
Completing the 13.1-mile race in just over 3 hours, Breyette didn't do it alone - she crossed the finish line alongside another half-marathoner, Denise Koslicki of Plattsburgh.
"She and I were both kind of running around the same time, same pace," explained Breyette. "We just kind of bonded."
Along the way, Koslicki and Breyette began to discuss their lives, both having young daughters and looking to become healthier and more fit.
"We developed this bond," Breyette said. "I got probably midway through and we were both saying, 'I'm not going to leave you, you don't leave me and we'll finish this together.'"
Although Breyette said she had some problems along the way, especially at mile 10, when she began to get lightheaded, she and Koslicki ran across the finish line.
"I became completely overwhelmed," she said of completing the race. "I was exhausted, but I was so elated. I was so proud of myself."
Throughout the last 14 weeks, Breyette has been cataloguing her triumphs and tribulations in this publication, with one achievement being she lost 30 pounds through exercise and healthy eating.
"I still have a little ways to go that I'd like to achieve, but it's a huge change and I've hit some good milestones," she said.
One of the major goals, and the main reason for taking on the half-marathon challenge, was to become "fit by forty," which Breyette feels she has mostly accomplished.
"Putting it into perspective that a year ago at this time I was just getting out of the hospital with my asthma ... I truly feel like I'm well on my way to being fit," she said.
In the end, Breyette said her accomplishments could not have been achieved without the support of her husband, Ed, daughter, Abigail, and coach, Mary Duprey, along with the rest of her family.
"For someone who has been reading [my journal] and thinking they could do something, even if it's one step towards a 5K ... know that there's people out there that are going to do nothing but encourage you," said Breyette. "They don't need to be afraid or intimidated by something, just because it seems that you have to be a top athlete to do it."