Sunday, May 4, 2008

Local Woman Runs For Cure

Some people run marathons to prove something to themselves, while others, such as co-onwer of full service marketing and advertising agency, Gateway Creative Group, and mother of three, Lori Sperber, runs marathons to help others.

“When you’re doing it for a cause that’s bigger than you are, it brings light to where there’s darkness,” Lori says.

The cause she’s speaking about is a cure for Leukemia and Lymphoma, as she’s a dedicated member and mentor in Team in Training, which is a group that trains runners to cross the finish line at marathons for the cause of raising money for cancer research.

But for somebody who’s soon going to be entering her third marathon in under three years for the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon, you’d think that Lori has had a lifetime of running under her belt, but then, you’d be wrong.

“Lori has no background in running,” says her husband and fellow owner of Gateway Creative Group, Jeff Sperber, “but trained for the NJ Marathon one year ago, and finished it with flying colors.”

That’s probably because she was running on something much more than just will and determination, she was running on love, which is also the name of her blog (, where she talks about her new goals, challenges, and also about the Concert for a Cure that she’s throwing at Randolph High School to raise money and awareness for her upcoming race.

“I just hope that people show up and support the show,” Lori says in relation to the concert that will be held on May 10th from 7-10 PM.

It all started when she was sitting at a business meeting, and somebody asked the question of what would you do if you could stop everything in your life and do that one thing.

Lori’s response: Run a marathon.

“I said it, but didn’t give it much thought,” Lori says.

Two weeks later, though, as life would have it, a postcard came in the mail requesting that she do just that, and of course, she heeded the calling.

“I thought, this is like karma,” Lori says on the timing of the postcard, “I couldn’t believe it, [it came almost] right after I opened my mouth.”

What solidified the deal though was the fact that it came with a cause attached to it, one that Lori felt an urge to run for.

“My father died in 1995 from Non-Hodgkin lymphoma,” says Lori, who felt compelled to run for him, “[and with news of the race], I said, I’m going to do it.”

And do it she did, and then, she did it again, this time for the Washington D.C. Marine Corps Marathon.

“My father-in-law passed away in 2007 when I was training for the last marathon,” Lori says, “and I felt like I should do another one for his [her husband’s] parent.”

This next race is for Ben Strauss, her sister-in-law’s father-in-law, who, like her own father, also had Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

“It felt appropriate to run for Ben Strauss,” she says.

It just goes to show that when darkness, such as cancer, falls at unexpected times, Lori will provide her own light, 26.2 miles at a time.


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