Jason Kasperski (37) of Madison, Wisconsin, has chosen to "Conquer the Capitol," a Madison Marathon series featuring a back-to-back twilight 10K on May 24, followed by a half-marathon May 25; he will complete the series with his first full marathon on November 9. Focal Flame Photography, the official event photography service provider for the 2014 Madison Marathon events, asked him about why he runs.
FFP: How many Madison Marathons or Half Marathons have you run?
Jason: One — I completed my first half Madison Marathon in November 2013. I will be running the Parkinson's Half this spring as well as the Twilight 10K and Madison Half Marathon in May. I am looking forward to my first full Madison Marathon in November.
FFP: Are there any personal accomplishments you would like to mention?
Jason: When I started running in August of 2012 distance running was the furthest thing from my mind, I was only focused on losing weight. By March of 2013 I had lost 100 pounds and was looking to run my first half marathon.
PLEASE SHARE YOUR PERSONAL STORY:
FFP: What does running and participating in events such as the Madison Marathon mean to you?
Jason: After I hit my weight loss goal, I decided I would run a marathon for each of the surgeries my daughter had. I look forward to presenting her with her first medal after crossing the Madison Marathon finish line in November.
FFP: If it is not too personal, please tell me a little more about your daughter and how she motivates you.
Jason: Brittney (8) was born with Spina Bifida. She is in a wheelchair but is able to walk short distances with a walker. To date she has had 18 surgeries ranging from ear tubes to open heart and brain surgery, to most recently a spinal fusion.
One icy day, I took her on a run around Lake Monona with my run group and she loved it. We ran in the UW Running Club Valentine's 5k together (she beat me by a hair). I hope to run with her in more races.
I started a Facebook page earlier this year that tells a bit of Brittney's story.
FFP: With so many races to choose from, why do you participate in the Madison Marathon?
Jason: I chose the Madison Marathon as my first marathon from a logistical standpoint. Living in Madison, it was a no brainer. I love the sights of the city and am familiar with most of the course.
FFP: Do you do anything to make the race more meaningful or fun?
Jason: Running with friends always helps with training, but when it comes to a race, I run for my daughter – that holds me accountable to do my best.
FFP: What would you tell other racers about participating in the Madison Marathon?
Jason: The same thing I tell myself — Prepare for it. Train hard and have fun.
FFP: You have chosen to "Conquer the Capitol" – a back- to-back twilight 10K and half marathon in the spring and a full marathon in the fall. Briefly, what would you tell other racers about participating in this race?
Jason: This will be my first time attempting it. I would say, push yourself, you never know what you can achieve.
- article by Deborah Proctor
This article is part of a series featuring athletes who are participating in a Madison Marathon Event May 24-25 and/or November 9, 2014. For more information or to register, visit Madison Marathon.