Cancer Survivor Stops in Owatonna on Run Around the Country
Four-time cancer survivor Helene Neville is about two months away from completing a run around the perimeter of the United States. Her course included a stop in Owatonna on Monday.
Neville is a nurse, author, health advocate and professional speaker. She wants to challenge people to do the impossible. So she set her sights on the lofty goal of running around the U.S. In 2010 she ran down the west coast, then was interrupted by cancer a year later. Neville resumed her circumnavigation of America in 2013 and is on the last leg of her 9,700 mile journey this summer. Owatonna is roughly the midpoint of her run from Maine to Washington state for a celebration on Sept. 5.
Neville told KRFO news, "I'm a nurse and cancer survivor. I'm just trying to inspire people to rethink impossible. Whatever that is for them. Maybe just changing up their diet, getting off the couch, taking to stairs instead of the elevator. Whatever that is they think is impossible. Give it a try. And I'm living proof and example of that out here."
"You never know who's in the next town, across the street or the next state," she said. "Somebody might need to be inspired. So I keep going."
Neville gets a boost from the people she meets. The Byron running club joined her as she left Rochester: "I'm inspired by how generous and nice everyone is here." She stays with local people each night after covering about 25 miles per day. She thinks that pace will slow down when she hits mountains in Montana. Neville joked with Owatonna police escorts on Monday that she would like to borrow their Taser in case she runs into bears out west. She will celebrate her 55th birthday this summer, probably while running across Montana.
When she arrived at the Steele County Fairgrounds on Monday afternoon, she was ready for a shower and a meal, "I resume tomorrow. Heading west."
You can follow Neville on Twitter @OneOnTheRun. View her website www.oneontherun.com for an interactive map of the final leg of her 9,700+ mile trip. When she finishes, Neville will have run through 37 states plus the District of Columbia.