November 20, 2015 – “The GOAL Foundation is how I fell in love with Ogden,” says Stacy Bernal. Back in 2008 Stacy was working at the Roosters on Historic 25th Street and found herself on a relay team for the Ogden Marathon. Owners Kym and Pete Buttschardt put together three teams of employees and somehow Stacy was selected for the first leg, a seven mile stretch of the marathon course.
“I had never run before so I trained and I really hated it and while I ran the race I swore I would never do it again,” she recalled. Stacy remembers riding on the bus after her segment and going through the canyon and eventually making it all the way to the finish line. “The finish line was the most amazing thing I had ever seen and I decided then to train for the full.”
Stacy ran several races that same year preparing for the 2009 Ogden Marathon. “That’s how I got involved with GOAL…and that’s when I really fell in love with Ogden.”
She ran the winter racing circuit in 2009, the Ogden Marathon in May, then Ragnar a month later and then the Top of Utah in September; “that is how the addiction started…”
But it wasn’t just a dive into racing for Stacy. “Running was so life changing for me. It’s when I committed to going back to school. I had dropped out three times before but because I had trained for the marathon, something I never would have thought I could finish, I figured what else can’t I do? And I went back and I finished.”
Stacy is running four half marathons this year and will be completing her sixth full as well. “I really do love it. It brings balance to my life. It is my happy place. I didn’t realize how much it meant to me until I got to a point in my pregnancy where I could no longer run and I felt this huge gap in my life.”
As much as she loves it, Stacy will admit it’s a major mental game. Even now, she says the first three miles can be difficult and she has to get her head in the game, “but after that, I’m good to go.”
Stacy joined her husband, Dusty, on the marathon course this year. He’s ran his first full and she started the race with him for the first leg of the marathon relay – the same place her running story started. She excitedly shared the day with her husband but let him have his time to shine and was there waiting at the finish line.