My name is Debra, and I'm a small town runner from Sweet Home Alabama. I haven't always loved running. In fact, I grew up hating it. My mom asked me to do my first 5K with her on her birthday in spring 2012, and I've been hooked ever since then. Running challenges me and inspires me to chase dreams I never thought possible. I started with 5K's, my first goal to just run one without stopping to walk. Then, I challenged myself to new distances: the 8K, 10K, 15K, half marathon, and marathon. My confidence has grown with each goal that I've reached. Running has taught me that no dream is too big if you have the courage to chase it.
Another passion of mine is teaching students with special needs. My brother, Raymond, was born with Down Syndrome. He passed away when I was a Junior in high school. He was just thirteen years old when he lost his battle to two types of cancer both diagnosed in the last year of his life. Even though his time on this Earth was brief, he touched many lives including my own. I would not be who I am today without him, and I try to live each day in a way that would make him proud. He's the reason I chose to pursue a career in Special Education. I'm in my 8th year teaching at the same school that I attended when I was younger. I cannot imagine doing anything else.
My husband Michael and I married in December 2012. We went to daycare together when we were younger. We were reconnected through his cousin and fellow teacher friend in Summer 2011, and we've been best friends ever since then. We share many of the same interests, such as watching Alabama football, going fishing, and vacationing in Orange Beach, AL and Gatlinburg, TN. He does not share my love for running, but he is a great spectator. He carries me to races and cheers me on from the sidelines.