MINNEAPOLIS - There is no shortage of inspirational stories during Twin Cities Marathon weekend.
“Every run hurts quite a bit, There’s a lot of recovery time," said Anna Eames, who is running the Twin Cities 10 Miler on Sunday. "I can’t go on runs two days in a row because it’s just too painful."
Eames was born with fibular hemimelia. It’s a rare birth defect that caused her right fibula to be shorter than her left.
“Just to prove to myself I can do it and have that drive again that I’ve been missing for a few years,” said Eames.
That drive led to her competing and winning at two Paralympic games, where she earned a total of three medals for swimming. She originally began swimming because it was one of the only sports she could do that didn't cause her pain.
But after she retired from the sport, she decided to start running, at the age of 23.
“I wanted to stay in shape and it’s a way you can easily do that. I wasn’t a member of a gym and was moving around from city to city,” said Eames.
Every time she ran she learned more about her body and how to work with it through each stride.
She started running 5K races and also learned that just finishing was enough.
“A lot of people want to go out and win and that was always my mantra so this is new and just trying to do it for fun,” said Eames.
This year, friends encouraged her to sign up for the Twin Cities 10-miler...her very first and possibly longest distance ever run.
What’s going to get her to the finish line?
“Not thinking about how much you have left, thinking about how much time you have to run, kind of taking it one mile at a time. Going for little goals each time. I’m just going to keep running up until that pole and that pole,” said Eames.
Sunday is also Eames' birthday. She says staying positive will help her get through.
The Twin Cities 10-miler begins at 7 a.m. Sunday.