Running long distances for reading

Staff writer

Kodi Panzer, who is often seen running through Marion, has a passion for running. She has pledged to run a 100-mile ultra marathon that spans from Cassoday to Matfield Green and back to raise money for the Hillsboro Public Library.

She said she has run 50-mile races before but never a 100-mile one. The race starts at 6 a.m. Oct. 12. Panzer hopes she can complete it in 24-hours.

“They allow runners 30 hours to finish the race, but I’m hoping to do it in less than 24 hours,” she said.

Her inspiration for the race came from two books she rented from the library.

“I checked out a book that all my running friends were talking about called ‘Born to Run,’” she said. “Reading that book changed my outlook on running.”

A second book, ‘Ultramarathon Man,’ also helped convince Panzer to run a 100-mile race.

“The book is about a guy who ran a marathon every day for 50 days,” she said. “I thought if he could do that, then I could do a 100-mile race.”

The race will be trying on Panzer’s body. She will carry a backpack with water and food with her.

“A lot of it will be mental,” she said. “There’s check points every 8 miles where I’ll stop and eat and drink, but my biggest problem will be overcoming the wall you hit when you just don’t want to go any further.”

She has been running anywhere from 50 to 70 miles a week to prepare. She said that number will increase as the race gets closer.

“I ran a 40 mile race in July at night just to test myself,” she said.

Panzer said it’s harder to run at night because your body wants to shut down.

“It’s highly mental, but I like the long distance races better because of the endurance and slower pace,” she said.

Panzer went to college on a track scholarship but was unable to race after contracting pneumonia.

“I didn’t really run after that until my friends encouraged me to run a half marathon with them,” she said. “They’re the ones who got me started and they’re the ones that recommended the book. They started this whole thing.”

She said the library desperately needs a new addition to make room for community meeting rooms and a computer area. Panzer is hoping to encourage local businesses and people to donate a set amount per mile she will run.

Panzer is also offering $10 adjustments and chair massages for a donation to patients on Oct. 9 to raise money for the library.

“I don’t have a set goal,” she said. “Whatever I can raise will be a good thing.”

The library is providing snacks for Panzer’s customers Oct. 9. Library director Cathleen Fish said she is blown away by Panzer’s generosity.

“We were just really humbled by the fact that she thought about us for this and humbling she would make this effort for the library,” Fish said. “Down the road we want to expand on or build a new library. We’re happy she wants to help.”

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