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Senior trains for Alaskan marathon fundraiser

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UD senior Krista Littleton
UD photo by Kathy F. Atkinson

Over hill, over dale, on 26.2 miles of Alaskan trail, University of Delaware senior Krista Littleton, of Frankford, plans to run in the Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon in Anchorage this June for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Littleton used to run marathons while attending Indian River High School, and she and a high school friend, Catie Cummings, who attends Neumann College, decided to get back into the running again. Each must raise $4,900 to participate in the marathon.

According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training web site, more than 295,999 volunteer participants have helped raise more than $660 million since 1988 to help combat blood cancers.

“Running for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is awesome. We are running for Elizabeth Shoemaker, who is 17 and attended our high school and was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2002,” Littleton said. “When you're training and get tired out, you think of Elizabeth and know you are helping a good cause--it is inspirational.”

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society provides mentors and coaches to participants, who start out at a slow pace and gradually increase their stamina and distance. “Weekdays I run on my own, but weekends we get out with our coach and train. Last weekend's run was more than six miles in Pike Creek,” she said.

Littleton said she is looking forward to the Alaskan marathon. “We arrive in Anchorage a few days before the June 23 marathon. They hold a Light the Night ceremony of remembrance, and there are other activities before and after the marathon. The marathon is on a scenic trail from the foot of the Chugach Mountains to Cook Inlet where frequently wild animals are sighted. More than 3,500 runners are expected to participate, and most finish the course in about five hours,” she said.

An elementary education major at UD, Littleton went to Hawaii during Winter Session for an interview with a local board of education. She said after graduation, she hopes to teach there and start graduate school to earn her master's degree.

For more information and to contribute to Littleton's fundraising marathon, go to [www.active.com/donate/TNTDE/TNTDEKLITTLE].

Media contact: Martin Mbugua, (302) 831-8749, [mbugua@udel.edu]
February 26, 2007