First Day

Feb. 17, 2010 3:45 am

As I lay awake in bed this morning, I was thinking about the funeral today of a local police officer.   As is true of many Missoulians, I have followed the story since his shooting, and my heart broke for his young widow.

You see, I was also once a young widow.  My first husband died just two years after we were married, and when I read in the obituary this week that this police officer was shot just two years after he and his wife were married, it really struck home.  In my own case, I was driven from Stevensville to Anaconda not knowing if my husband was alive or dead and praying to God that I would be able to take care of my husband for the rest of his life, if only God would keep him here for me.  This couldn’t have been possible, but knowing that this new widow had done exactly that for her husband made me feel a kinship with her.

Lying in bed this morning, I was wanting so much to do SOMETHING, anything, to let the widow know that I mourned with and for her.  But I’m not a friend of the family.  What could I do?   And then I remembered that great photo of two of them crossing the finish line of the Missoula Marathon, raising money for Spinal Cord Injury research.  OK, THAT IS SOMETHING I ALSO CAN DO!  I can put one foot in front of the other, thank God.  And so I can also run or walk the Missoula Marathon to raise money for research.

I am starting out a little late in my training.  Here it is the middle of February, and I am not even a runner.  Not only that, I am over-weight, and I am, well let’s say, of a certain age.  But, if I throw my hat over the fence, I’ll have to climb that fence to retrieve it, and so, here I go, tossing that hat.  Letting the world know that I’m doing this will keep me honest.

So, today I’ll walk to Runners’ Edge, and start the learning process.  And, to keep everyone who cares in touch, I guess I’ll keep very public track of my progress. I take a Great Big gulp and tell you, here are my beginning stats:

Name: Kimberly Dredger
Age: 54
Weight: (oh, do I want everyone to know?) 211 pounds (whew!)
Goal: to finish the Missoula Marathon this summer
Reason: to raise money for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation

 Here goes!  “Running for Spinal Cord Research” starts today.



  1. Kimberly: As one of the founding members of Team Reeve–welcome! I did my first marathon on a handcycle, more than 14 years after the last time I had run.

    You will find that running the marathon gives you much more than you ever expected. Even better, you are giving back and in honor of someone.

    My first marathon was after Christopher had passed away and right after Dana was diagnoised with cancer. I sat on the fence for awhile but upon learning of Dana’s cancer I gave it a shot. I made my decision in mid-August and ran the first of November.

    I got an early donation and that kept me committed. Looks like your blog will do the same.

    I wish you the best of luck in your efforts. I am bookmarking your blog and will be following your progress. If you need any advice on fundraising or moral support, give me a shout. For technique, go to Mark Z; Team Reeve trainer–he kept me sane and focused as well as prepared.


  2. Wow Kimberly! Look how far you have come and traveled.

  3. kimberly, as an sci victim due to a surgical error to replace a herniated disc in my neck two years ago, i cannot express the gratitude i feel toward you adequately. two marathons in one year for team reeve?

    after my “accident”, i went to kessler in west orange nj (it helps that i live in nj now although i will forever be a new yorker, born and raised until 30…) and while at kessler i was fortunate to have karyn baig as my pt. she was also the inspiration for hand cyclist john benedetto and they both finished on sunday. neither had done a marathon before but had both planned to run this year and then john had his accident. you can read about them here:
    karyn even went and played soccer sun evening!

    anyway, as i began to recover, i resolved to find one thing to inspire me and one thing to make me belly laugh each day. today, you are my inspiration (my belly laugh was watching my sedate 10 year-old cat do a major freak-out chasing her tail for about 10 minutes, lol).

    so you were inspired and by taking hold of that inspiration, YOU inspired me. how’s that for destiny?

    you inspire me to continue to be strong in my new body. thank you, thank you, thank you for raising funds for spinal cord research.

    it is my hope to dance with my now 20 year-old son at his wedding in the not-too-distant future.

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