When Jackie Butkovich wants to unwind, her first choice isn’t to flop in front of the TV. Instead, the New London Family Medical Center medical technologist slips into her running shoes and hits the streets.
“It’s my escape and a stress reliever,” said Butkovich, a 29-year-old mom of two. “I get to spend some time outdoors, and I like to be fit.”
This summer, she’s given her running a focus. Butkovich is training for the 13.1-mile ThedaCare Orthopedics Plus Half Marathon, part of the 20th Annual Community First Fox Cities Marathon Festival of Races held Sept. 17-19.
“Signing up for a race keeps me on track by giving me a goal. I like the camaraderie and sense of accomplishment that I get from finishing a race,” she said.
Prior to race day, Butkovich and others in training can find camaraderie within the virtual racing community We Got Guts on the social media site Daily Mile. There, individuals registered to walk or run the half marathon can share training experiences, tips and motivation with fellow racers.
We Got Guts is accessible through the ThedaCare Orthopedics Plus website at www.thedacareorthoplus.org/half-marathon. The site also offers training schedules for walkers and runners of all experience levels.
Butkovich sticks to her training schedule with the help of a GPS-enabled watch and great weather in which to train. “I like that this race is close to home and the time of year that it’s held. I get to spend the summer running,” she said.
To participate in the Community First Fox Cities Marathon Festival of Races, register online at www.foxcitiesmarathon.org or by phone at (920) 882-9499 or (800) 230-7223.