Wineglass Marathon organizers are proud to announce Colleen Kelly Alexander as the special guest and keynote speaker of the 2015 Wineglass Weekend.
Ms. Kelly Alexander will immerse herself in the Finger Lakes community as she participates in several marathon events throughout race weekend. Runners will enjoy her company during the Wineglass 5K and Wineglass Expo, as well as listen to her inspirational story in Bath on Friday, October 2 and during the Radisson's Pasta Dinner Special the evening of October 3.
Ms. Kelly Alexander will run alongside more than 3,200 Wineglass participants in this year's sold out half marathon. Her husband, Sean, will compete in this year's full marathon.
"I am honored to join the Wineglass Marathon running family," said Ms. Kelly Alexander. "Each and every one of us has a story that we bring to that start line, that we play out in our minds and hearts as we make the journey along the race course."
Ms. Kelly Alexander is an inspiration for athletes and nonathletes alike.
An acclaimed triathlete, she has spent most of her life running and riding bikes, something that she considers a true passion. On October 8, 2011, while cycling home from work, the young woman was run over by a multi-ton freightliner. The incident left her severely injured and barely alive.
The athlete received 78 blood transfusions – including whole blood platelets and plasma – after her body was completely drained of blood. Requiring full resuscitation twice, Colleen Kelly Alexander remained in a coma for over five weeks. She endured multiple surgeries and severe wound management as her broken body struggled to heal.
Amazingly, the young woman survived the incident. While she continues to heal and move further along in her recovery, and there are many more surgeries in her future, she is alive and thriving.
"I've been given another opportunity to not just be alive, but to LIVE this life, and it's always an honor to stand before a family of athletes and talk about how strong and powerful we truly are as a human family," added Ms. Kelly Alexander. "October will be four years since I was run over, and since then I've been through 29 surgeries. Every time I can get the strength to stand up or wheel to another start line, I do."
"I hope to get to know each and every one of the Wineglass runners on some level, if even just a high five, a quick hug or a few steps together along our way at the marathon!"
"We are truly honored to welcome Colleen as this year's special guest," said Sheila Sutton, Wineglass Marathon Race Co-Director. "Her story, and strength to persevere, is truly awe inspiring, and we know that our running community will be just as touched after hearing her speak, as we have been while getting to know her."
Ms. Kelly Alexander credits her doctors, emergency responders and The American Red Cross with saving her life. She encourages everyone who can to donate blood, so that others may enjoy life as well. For more information, please visit RedCrossBlood.org.
To connect with Ms. Kelly Alexander before Wineglass Weekend, runners are encouraged to join her on Twitter and Facebook.
For more information on Colleen Kelly Alexander, please visit ColleenKellyAlexander.com.