Runner Profile: Kathy Skillern

Skillern and her brother, Keith Thomas

Kathy Skillern
Age: 48
Deer Park, TX
Occupation: First grade teacher
Races Completed: 1 Marathon, 2 Half-Marathons

At 43-years-old, Kathy Skillern was motivated to start her running journey. She was a mother, worked full-time and on medication for high blood pressure. She tended to deal with stress by eating and made the decision to search for a new way to deal with stress to end her need of blood pressure medications.

She began by running short distances and then signed up to run a 5K. After completing her first 5K, she was addicted to running and never felt better in her life. And more importantly, she is now off all medications.

Skillern also motivated her husband, Rick Skillern and brother, Keith Thomas to pick up the sport too. “They have both been runners in the past, but had not run races until I became addicted to racing,” said Skillern. The Skillerns’ also run together in the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio race every year as a weekend get-away.

Her brother asked her to join him in his first marathon to share the experience together. Skillern agreed and they put their faith into the Chevron Houston Marathon lottery, and if chosen, they would run together.

The Skillerns’ attended National Running Day at the Sports Authority for a chance to win one of 10 race entries.  “When my number was called, I was so excited that I could not run to the sign up table fast enough!” said Skillern. “I knew at that moment that it was meant to be – I was to run this race with Keith and Rick.  I really had never felt that excited about winning anything in my life.”

On race day, she is mostly looking forward to watching her brother cross the finish line for the first time. She will have the support of her children, parents and brother’s family to cheer her and her brother on at the finish line.

Skillern started racing for her health, but has spent most of her races raising money for the American Cancer Society or Susan B. Komen. Her mother is a breast cancer survivor and her uncle passed away from cancer several years ago. She continues to run for her mother and in memory of her uncle and her husband who has recently passed away in October.

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