Inspiring Detroit… One Mile at a Time

By: Toni Cunningham | October 2, 2013
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In less than 3 weeks, tens of thousands of runners from all over the world will gather in Detroit to achieve one amazing goal: Crossing the finish line at the Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon. This event is not just a race, but a story of accomplishment, unwavering passion, inspiration and dedication, for each and every runner.

Your Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers, proud sponsors of the Half-Marathon, set out on a mission to find out “What Drives You To Run.” Throughout the search, five incredible participants were selected to share their stories. While each story is very different, these five individuals share the common goal of inspiring thousands of Detroiters.

As you view each video, you will witness the participants overcome adversity, share heartfelt moments, and discuss both struggles and accomplishments. They will also offer their tips and tricks for training for a half-marathon during the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Meet our five runners:

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Catherine Goddard of Royal Oak began running to make a change in her physical health. Not only has running helped her to experience life, but it has helped her to overcome her emotional challenges brought on by the loss of her son. Including the Detroit Free Press Marathon, Catherine will have participated in three half-marathons this year alone.

Greg Gibbs of Rochester Hills is running with some of his best friends to raise money for the Hope Water Project, an organization that will build wells in an impoverished area of northern Kenya. Greg and his friends have recruited the largest charity group to ever run the Detroit Half-Marathon, with hopes of raising $1 Million for their cause.

Heather Quinlan of Sterling Heights is running for both mental and physical change. As she tackles the daunting task of weight loss, she utilizes Facebook to help motivate others through their struggles on her page, Finding Her Happy Pace.

Jessica Paciorek of Ferndale doesn’t drive to explore her city, she runs! She loves the strength and confidence that she gets from running, as well as the stress relief that comes along with it. Running helps Jessica to experience life in a completely different way.

Shawn Marie Panter of Lake Fenton is a 34 year old widow who runs in honor of her late husband, Brian. Through running, she finds clarity, strength, and motivation to be a positive role model for her two young sons.

Each runner has been posting videos to document his or her progress throughout the training process on Follow our participants on their journey to the finish line, as they aim to inspire and motivate others by sharing what drives them to run.