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Sharing a Moment

The influences of our families can inspire us to accomplish feats that we initially think are out of reach. Together Kate Evett of St. Louis and her sister Amy Evett-Taylor of Cape Girardeau accomplished what most runners dream of doing - running the sport’s most prestigious race. As they crossed the finish line together at the 115th Boston Marathon on April 18, they shared that special moment with each other and with their late father.

Tom Evett, Kate and Amy’s father, supported his children in everything they did.

Sisters Amy Evett-Taylor and Kate Evett

Sisters Amy Evett-Taylor and Kate Evett

He encouraged them to lead healthy, active lives. “He never missed a game or practice…he’d show up dressed in a suit having come from work,” Amy proudly states. Kate and Amy’s younger brother Michael was also a talented athlete, excelling at soccer at his father’s former school, Christian Brothers College (CBC) High School in St. Louis. Tom Evett wanted the best for his children and “brought out the best in people,” Amy explains.

Participants in the Boston Marathon are some the world’s best endurance runners. They are the elite, the best in the world. Participants must meet rigorous standards just to qualify for the race. According to runningusa.org, over half a million people completed a marathon in the U.S. in 2010. For this year’s Boston Marathon there were less than 27,000 slots available to qualify for. The limited slots available and tightened qualifying standards make qualifying for Boston unattainable for many. To have one Boston Marathon qualifier would be an accomplishment for any family. Having two family members qualify is a unique and extraordinary feat.

But running the Boston Marathon together may never have happened for Kate and Amy Evett if it wasn’t for the determination of each sister.

Amy’s interest in running goes back to the eighth grade. “I used to walk home from school and eventually started to run home,” she explains. Amy ran through high school and college for exercise and to stay in shape. On the day their father passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack in 1999, Amy was running with him. She admits, “It was hard to get back into running,” after her father passed away.

Kate ran occasionally during college for exercise, but got serious about the sport only about four years ago. “Amy is the one who got me into running,” she states. Kate entered a number of small local races and found that she was one of the faster runners. This motivated her to enter more events and seek out the assistance of a personal trainer to help her improve. Although helpful in her training, the trainer was skeptical when she mentioned her desire to run the Boston Marathon. “He told me, maybe in a few years,” Kate states. But within a year of running her first marathon, Kate qualified for Boston at the 2009 Chicago Marathon.

After Kate qualified, Amy realized that the goal of running the Boston Marathon was within reach. “I don’t think Boston crossed my mind until she (Kate) qualified for it…she inspired me to try to qualify,” Amy explains. The following spring at the 2010 Go! St. Louis Marathon, Amy’s work paid off as she qualified for the Boston Marathon. She accompanied her sister to Boston that year as a spectator knowing that in 2011, they would be running it together.

running_for_dadThis past April they made the trip to Boston together and ran with the best marathon runners in the world. Through the difficult stretches of the race, they ran together, occasionally thinking of their father, savoring the experience as the huge enthusiastic crowds cheered them on, with children slapping their hands, as they ran by the thousands of fans lining the streets. “You felt like an elite runner,” Kate proudly states. “You didn’t want the race to end,” Amy adds.

As Kate and Amy finished the last few miles of the race and crossed the finish line together, they realized the magnitude of what they had just accomplished. “It was a very emotional finish” Amy explains. Throughout their lives, Kate and Amy’s father wanted the best for them and had a way of bringing out their best. On this day, they were at their best.

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