Single Mom Proves Strength to Herself and Her Kids

As every runner toes the start line, within them resides the story that carried them there. Those stories are made up of moments that culminate in milestones.

The history of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series is made of moments and milestones created by runners just like you. In honor of our 20th anniversary celebration, we invite runners to share their most memorable running moments with us.

This is the story of Kim M. from Phoenix, AZ.


Single Mom Proves Strength to Herself and Her Kids

Before leaving her Phoenix suburb home in the dark Sunday morning, Kim McNamara woke up her three children, kissed them on the forehead and told them goodbye.

“See you at the finish line,” said McNamara.

Sure enough, when McNamara wrapped up the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon in 6 hours, 43 minutes and 30 seconds, her first 26.2-miler, there awaiting her arrival were her three children.

Eight-year-old MaKayla held up a sign reading, “My mom is my hero. 26.2 Baby.”

Nine-year-old Daniel showed off a sign reading, “My Mom Rocks.” (In rock ‘n’ roll fashion, his art work included musical notes.)

And 16-year-old Kevin proudly displayed a sign reading, “My Mom Just Killed it. … a lifetime of dreams come true. We are so proud of you. XOXOXO”

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All marathons are deeply personal, McNamara’s probably more than most. Running has helped her overcome a physically abusive marriage.

“I had an ugly marriage,” she said. “This was to prove to myself and to them that I am somebody.”

McNamara, 38, lives in Goodyear. She works as a surgical technician. When she crossed the finish line, she was laughing and crying.

“I can’t even explain the feeling,” she said.


On Monday evening, McNamara was still giddy with joy. And so were the kids.

“The kids, I don’t know if they were in shock, but they were saying, ‘You really did it. You really finished,’” said McNamara. “It’s still very surreal. I’m not as sore as I thought I’d be.”

Rest assured, though, her body ached.

After walking up and down the stairs Monday, McNamara said, “Next marathon, we’re having a one-story home.”

Every runner has a story. Share your favorite moments or memories from running with Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series.