Local runs marathons after heart surgery, birth of child

Published 12:04 am Sunday, October 25, 2015

 

MONTEREY — Hannah Taylor had doctors in shock.

Just six months after having open heart surgery in 2009, Taylor was pushing her body to the limit, running a half marathon.

“After the surgery, I knew I wanted to live a healthy life,” Taylor said. “So I continued running and haven’t stopped. It hasn’t bothered me at all. I go to the doctor every two years to get checked and nothing has ever come up.”

Now, Taylor is defying the odds once again, running in the New York Marathon just four months after having a baby.

The marathon has been a dream of Taylor’s for quite some time.

“I’ve been running for several years and it is just something that I’ve always wanted to do,” she said. “I’m not fast, so I knew I would never qualify to run the marathon. So they have a lottery and they pick entered names each year, and it just so happens my name got picked.”

The news didn’t come at an ideal time, though.

“Whenever I found out I was chosen, I was six months pregnant,” Taylor said. “First, I thought about not doing it, but I knew I may never get the opportunity again, so I made my mind up and decided to run.”

It didn’t take long for Taylor to resume her active lifestyle after giving birth.

“I started training about three weeks after having the baby,” she said. “I could pretty much run three miles easy. That is the base miles and you slowly build up each week. I’m up to 18 miles, and you normally would like to get a few 20 mile runs in, but I had a very short training period.”

Along with her will to complete a dream of her own, Taylor is also being pushed by another motivating source, a young girl named Aiden Taunton.

“A family in Monterey recently learned their daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor,” Taylor said. “It is really important to me that people are aware of this. I raise money for St. Jude in some of the bigger races I run, and it is important that people make donations to St. Jude.”

Taunton is currently being treated at St. Jude in Memphis.

“It hits really close to home for me,” Taylor said.

With just a few days remaining before the run, Taylor said the nerves are beginning to creep in as well.

“I’m going to be nervous, I know that,” she said. “But when you get in a crowd of people and start running, you forget about everything going on and just run.”

The New York marathon will be run on Nov. 1.