CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — A teacher ran the marathon on her own in honor of one of her students.
Krista Overstreet had planned to run in the 2020 Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon in April, but the race was postponed because of COVID-19.
Overstreet is an early childhood special education student in the Urbana school district. One of her students, Leah Clutts, has a rare disorder called Rett Syndrome, which gradually limits children’s abilities to speak and move independently.
Overstreet had been fundraising for Rett Syndrome research and awareness, and decided to continue on with the race Saturday, May 2.
“Knowing that this wasn’t just about me, this was about all the people that fight and live with Rett Syndrome every day,” Overstreet says. “You know, they continue to make that fight, so I wanted to do something.”
Overstreet completed the marathon with friends and family cheering her on along the way.
Leah’s mother, Elizabeth, says it was incredible what Overstreet accomplished.
“The fact that Krista went on with her commitment and did it anyway without the built-in support system that comes with an organized race is just mind-blowing to me,” Clutts says. “It’s just astonishing.”
Overstreet has already raised more than $1,000 on Leah’s behalf. She plans to run in the actual marathon this fall if it’s rescheduled, so she can give Leah her medal after crossing the finish line.
For more information on Leah’s journey, click here.