2010 Philadelphia Marathon: Five Inspiring Runners

Linda Novak
Linda Novak
A cancer survivor for more than 8 years, Montgomery County-based Linda Novak, age 46, is running her first 26.2 miles for two reasons: To celebrate how far shes come since being diagnosed with cancer and to raise money for the American Cancer Society. I never thought Id leave that hospital when I was so sick, and its amazing to me that Ill be doing a marathon, says Novak, who has been cancer free for the past four years. Despite her remission, she still deals with the effects of chemo. During training, Novak often struggled with painful, swollen legsbut she pushed through the miles anyway. Ive dealt with so much pain [throughout my cancer treatment], that running pain doesnt even compare. I just tell myself to keep going. You just have to keep going no matter what.

On race day, Novak will wear a t-shirt with the names of supportive friends and family on the back. Im going to be thinking of them the entire time, she says. Even if I have to crawl, Im going to cross that finish line.

Expected time: 4:45 to 5 hours


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