In 2010, Wendy Garrett, an LDS marathon runner, suffered an accident that rendered her left leg useless with several back and neck injuries. She never thought that she would be able to walk a mile, let alone run 26.2. Now she is preparing to make history as she gears up to run her sixth World Marathon Major.
In 2013, after a visit to her 25th doctor, she was finally diagnosed with a spinal cord injury and fitted with an orthotic that provided her with enough support to begin walking – and eventually running – on her own. She told LDS Living, “I started running, and haven’t looked back.”
A year after her diagnosis, Wendy ran in her first Boston Marathon. She ran in memory of her sister who passed away just months prior to the race. She said, “I was broken; I didn’t think I could do it. . .. [But] running ended up helping me through the grieving process.”
She has already completed the Boston, New York City, Chicago, Berlin, and London Marathons. Earlier this month she traveled to Tokyo, Japan, for the last of the six World Champion Marathons. Finishing the race will make her the first person in the world to complete the six World Marathon Majors on foot with a spinal cord injury.
Wendy commented that it has been an amazing journey with many miracles along the way. Despite all the challenges that she has faced to achieve her dream, she recognizes how God has transformed her life through running. She testifies, “God’s plan is so much better than ours. If I’d had my way I would have been completely healed and would be living a ‘normal’ life. God’s plan for me was this journey I’ve been on.” She further commented, “Because of my disability, my life has actually been more exciting than I could have ever imagined. It’s allowed me to travel the world, meet amazing and inspiring people, and to be able to share my story and my testimony on a local, national, and international level.”
Wendy realizes that finishing the Tokyo Marathon will not be the final chapter in her story. She has hopes and aspirations to compete in the Paralympics, to complete a marathon on every continent, and to run as many Boston Marathons as she can. Her counsel to those who are struggling with their own challenges is, “Hang on. Trust in God’s plan for you. There are no accidents. He knows you, loves you, and has wonderful things in store for you.”