In February last year I lost my mum. I travelled abroad for the funeral and by the end of that year my energy levels were low. I turned to fitness and running, the things I’m passionate about, that bring me joy. In March this year, I ran the Dallas rock n’ roll half marathon – my third Dallas rock n’ roll for three years straight. In April, I ran a rock n’ roll half marathon in Mexico and received an extra “world rocker” medal for running two rock and roll half marathons in two different countries! I felt it was time for a new challenge, but I didn’t know what. I have been running 13.1 miles since 2014.
I first heard about the Marine Corps Marathon this year through a friend who signed up, but I didn’t know anything about it so didn’t pay much attention to it. Later on another friend got in through the lottery and I became interested. However, the only registration option available was through a charity. I went through the list and immediately I read about “Team Girl Up” I knew it was the one for me!
I’m British born, with a Nigerian/African heritage and I now live in Texas, USA. I have lived on three continents and consider myself a girl of the world. I could use my love of running to make a difference in the lives of girls around the world spoke to my heart. I was nervous about the $1,000 fund raising minimum, I wasn’t sure if I could but I was so drawn to Team Girl Up and decided I would do it. I ended up raising $1,000 in 2 weeks!! The donations are still coming in. This was definitely a sign that I made the right decision to run 26.2 miles, my first marathon. This was the challenge I was looking for. I’m also a blogger and have written about it. I’m proud to be supporting Team Girl Up and honoured that my actions will make an impact in the drive to empower girls in developing countries. As a runner I’m excited to be running the Marine Corp Marathons with my friends in such an iconic city. I’m using my powers for good!
My name is Julia Reeder, the proud daughter of Joe and Kate Reeder, who both ran the Marine Corps Marathon when I was a little girl. For as long as I can remember, I have looked up to my parents for their athletic and professional pursuits and service to my country. My father was Undersecretary of the Army and my mother has represented the sovereign rights of Native Americans, and they both continue to practice law.
My parents raised me to be a strong woman with leadership skills and a heart to serve those around me. For the last decade I have advocated legally and emotionally (now as a licensed psychotherapist) for refugees and immigrants – particularly women and girls. For all these reasons, I have decided to honor my parents by running this marathon and raising money for Girl Up in the process. This great campaign aims to educate and engage girls around the world to take action in their communities. This mission embodies everything my parents instilled in me and I’m proud to be a part of it!