Only runners or a select niche of fans and followers probably tracked yesterday’s New York City Marathon, an annual racing tradition dating to 1970. The 26.2 mile course winds thorough Gotham’s five boroughs, ending in Manhattan’s famed Central Park.
This year’s men’s race was won by Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola. The women’s division title went to Kenya’s Hellen Obiri. Only one American man, Elkanah Kibet, finished in the top ten.
On the women’s side, two Americans finished in 8th and 9th place – Kellyn Taylor and Molly Huddle.
But what makes these runners’ performances yesterday even more impressive was that both Taylor and Huddle gave birth to daughters in 2022. Josephine Huddle was born in April. Keagan Taylor arrived last December.
Husband and wife Kyler and Kellyn Taylor are actually parents to four children – two of whom they adopted after receiving them while they were in the foster care system.
Like so many parents who welcome children who suffered from some form of devastating tragedy, the Taylors fostered seven children before adopting the two they did. The older is a boy, age five, and the younger is a girl, age two.
Speaking with Runner’s World, Kellyn recalled the heartbreak of having to relinquish two of the children, a young sibling pair. They had hoped to adopt them, but then received a call late one night that the state was going to try and reunite them with their biological parents.
“They came and picked them up at 6 a.m., with essentially a taxi service,” Kellyn said. “It was rough.”
Training for a marathon is hard enough for a weekend warrior who is usually content with just finishing the race. But training at an elite level takes the process to a different plain altogether.
Steph Bruce, a training partner with Kellyn, has suggested that despite her desire to run well and win, her friend’s priorities differ from the typical professional athlete.
“Kellyn has always had the mindset that there’s way more to life than running,” Bruce said. “That’s just how she lives. She doesn’t like napping, she doesn’t like rolling out, she doesn’t activate. She doesn’t do the things that are traditional for a runner. She works really hard when she comes to practice. And she always gets everything done she needs to get done. That has worked for her in her career.”
Both Kellyn Taylor and Molly Huddle recognize that athletic performances are fleeting and temporary. Whether running on the world’s stage, climbing the corporate ladder, or working day and night to launch an entrepreneurial venture, it’s the wise person who puts work in the proper perspective. You can always find another job – the same can’t said for our families.
“For me, the best thing to do is to take a step back and realize that this is important, this is my job, but it is still just running,” Taylor has said. “I have a lot of other things in my life that are more important. I guess you could say that’s bad or not bad, I don’t know. Depends on how you’re looking at it. This (running) is not my life. This is not what makes me happiest in my life. My family makes me probably the happiest.”
Congratulations, Kellyn and Molly, not just on running the New York City Marathon well – but for running the race of life with such deliberate and dedicated family focus.
Image from Shutterstock.