We Are Well: DaVita Teammate Starr Davis Marathons Around the World
2018 was the year of comebacks for me. In October 2017, I began having hip issues. Surgery was recommended to remove a bone spur and repair/replace the labrum. My surgeon and I decided because I had amazing marathons ahead of me, we would postpone surgery until after I finished them and then he would be able to repair any additional damage (and we weren’t sure if this would end my running career). October – December 2017, I ran the Chicago, Marine Corps, Berlin and Havana marathons and a 50K Ultra Marathon.
Still postponing surgery, in April 2018, I was able to do both the Boston and London Marathons. Boston was a challenge as temperatures were in the 30’s with constant rain – I wound up in 11 medical tents with hypothermia symptoms. However, because I had raised $6500 for charity from friends and I knew this was my one opportunity to do Boston, I finished the race.
Six days later, I ran the London marathon. The temperature was in the 80s. Between the contrast in weather and my hip, I wound up walking the marathon from mile 8. But I was totally overjoyed to complete two races in 6 days.
Three weeks later, I had hip surgery. I was very fortunate that surgery was not as major as we anticipated—the labrum wasn’t torn but had a bone spur sticking out of it that was labor intensive to remove. Of course, when I woke up, my first question is “when can I run?” I had been offered a sponsorship race entry to the NYC Marathon in November, and I really wanted to do it. I was told that running it would be impossible, but I should be able to walk it.
24 weeks after surgery, I was able to walk the NYC marathon. My body had done so much better than I expected. There were hours and hours of therapy and minimal training. I feel so blessed to have been able to have the “perfect” conditions. I was joking with doctors that Boston was too cold and wet; London was too hot and finally, New York was “just right.” He has now nicknamed me “Goldilocks.”
I ran the Tokyo Marathon just March 3rd of this year, and it was epic, albeit pretty miserable race conditions. It was 43 degrees with constant rain—but it was 8 degrees warmer than Boston and rain was coming straight down instead of at an angle… let’s focus on the good things. After Tokyo, I became an Abbott Marathon Six Star Finisher. What does that mean? I am one of 4,989 people in the world who have successfully completed the six major world marathons: Berlin, Chicago, New York, Boston, London and Tokyo. Of these finishers, 1,376 are women and 929 are from the USA. I’m so over the moon that I was able to successfully complete this, especially as a 50 year old who overcame crazy health challenges.
The past 19 months of running have been amazing for me—they’ve given me the opportunity to meet amazing new people, travel to great locations and most importantly, change my attitude of what can be accomplished. I have changed my eating habits and developed a better relationship with myself. It’s amazing what running some miles can do.
And this whole journey was started thanks to the Village Vitality program five years ago. When I joined the Village six years ago, I was leading a sedentary lifestyle. I had been in primarily travel jobs, and didn’t make the time to take care of myself. The Village Vitality program encouraged me to start running again and to take better care of myself. At 50 years old/young, I believe I am in the best health of my life.