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Why I Run displays News and Sentinel Half Marathon racers and their stories. We want to know about your running career, motivation to run and your advice to first time half marathon racers. This is your chance to show off your accomplishments, and you could be next. Contact us at and show the running world what you are made of.

Demi DeGraef

July 9, 2019
News and Sentinel Half Marathon

Name: Demi DeGraef

Age: 24

Hometown: Coolville, OH

Article Photos

Demi's running career:

I've been running for about 15 years now, it all started when I was able to join the track team in elementary school and I haven't stopped since. So far I have completed a total of seven half marathons, four being the News and Sentinel Half Marathon. My personal record is a 2:02 and my ultimate goal is to be under two hours. I ran my PR at the Parkersburg half last year, so hopefully I will be able to set another.

Demi's motivation:

There isn't a better feeling than crossing the finish line after you just ran 13.1 miles. After being a retired college athlete, running half marathons keep me involved and also allow me to still compete in something. I set goals for myself during my first half that I haven't accomplished yet, and it's motivating to know I still need to reach them. Running is very mental, and a lot of mind over matter but I enjoy pushing myself to new limits and that's exactly what running a half does for me.

Advice from Demi:

The Parkersburg Half is one of the toughest races I've ran, but it's also one of the most rewarding. My dad got me started into running halfs, and he's what kept me going through my first half, cheering me on the whole way. My advice would be to either run with someone who pushes you, or set goals for yourself that'll keep you moving. I set a goal for myself for my first half, and I'm not going to be satisfied until I accomplish it. The River City Runners Club has been a huge part of my Parkersburg Half training, which makes running more enjoyable with a group of people who motivate you to succeed.



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