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Boonsboro mom runs for her children

JFK 50 Mile competitor Kathleen Luzier says she runs to relieve stress

November 14, 2012|By KAUSTUV BASU | kaustuv.basu@herald-mail.com
  • Kathleen Luzier will be back on the Appalachian Trail Saturday hoping to improve on last year's performance, when she finished her first attempt at the race in just less than 9 hours.
By Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

When Kathleen Luzier first went to the Appalachian Trail to prepare for the JFK 50 Mile, she didn’t like it.

The rocky and difficult terrain spooked her.

Luzier, 44, who was the first Washington County resident to cross the finish line of the ultramarathon in 2011, has grown to like the trail. These days, she talks about its beauty.

“You are in peace, even with 1,000 runners,” Luzier said. “It’s maybe the closest to God you can be on this Earth.”

The Boonsboro mother of three will be back on the trail Saturday hoping to improve on last year’s performance, when she finished her first attempt at the race in just less than 9 hours.

Luzier is aiming to shave 20 minutes off the 8 hours, 57 minutes and 49 seconds that placed her 197th overall and 32nd among women.

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“I guess that depends on the weather, it depends on the day. Every day is different. I just want to finish. That’s all that matters,” Luzier said.

Luzier started running in her early 20s, primarily to stay in shape. Over the years, she has completed 13 marathons, and she said that taking part in the JFK 50 Mile was a natural extension.

“These days, I run for my kids. I’m a very hyper mom. Running relieves the stress,” she said.

Luzier has run three marathons this year, including the Boston and Chicago marathons. She said taking part in marathons was the best way to prepare for the JFK 50 Mile.

“I’m a good runner, not a great runner,” Luzier said on a recent Friday as she went for a run on the Appalachian Trail.

There was determination in her voice as she negotiated the trail, running nimbly over the uneven terrain.

“You are on this for 13 miles. It is a long 13 miles. You can’t run fast,” Luzier said.

Her husband, Doug Luzier, a criminal investigator with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, will provide support during the race, meeting her at certain points and providing her with energy drinks and anything else she might need.

Also part of the support team are her three children — Maggie, 13, and 12-year-olds Liam and Makenna.

Luzier said she is likely to become increasingly high strung as the race approaches.

“I have always finished at the top percent. I’ve never dropped out of a race,” she said.

Luzier said she is not sure if she will run the JFK 50 Mile again, that she might try a 50-mile race somewhere else or even a 100-mile ultramarathon.

Editor’s note: This is the fourth story in a five-part series about some of the people who will compete in the JFK 50 Mile ultramarathon Saturday in Washington County. The event takes participants from Boonsboro to Williamsport along paved roads, the Appalachian Trail and the C&O Canal towpath.

The Luzier file

Name: Kathleen Luzier

Age: 44

Residence: Boonsboro

Occupation: Stay-at-home mother

Number of JFK finishes: One

The JFK in one word: “Spectacular”

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