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Toronto Waterfront Marathon / Canadian Marathon Championships – News – Bookmyer To Take On TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Toronto Waterfront Marathon / Canadian Marathon Championships - News - Bookmyer To Take On TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

By Paul Gains – Race Results Weekly – Used with permission.

(12-Sep) — Elite marathoners endure much suffering in order to excel in their sport but few have struggled with brain cancer.

American Molly Bookmyer underwent two surgeries eight years ago following diagnosis of a brain tumor while finishing up her degree at Ohio State University.

With that awful period behind her now, as an elite marathoner her path has led her to the 2023 TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon where she will attempt to improve her personal best and position herself among the top contenders at the 2024 USA Olympic Team Trials Marathon in Orlando, Fla., on February 3.  Her current best is 2:31:39 and she sees Toronto Waterfront –her first international race– as an opportunity to knock off a significant chunk of time.

“I want to run 2:27,” she said. “I feel I haven’t had a breakthrough in my marathon. I have had some good races at shorter distances. I ran a 1:10:51 half marathon last fall. So I have had some success at the shorter distances and I haven’t quite figured out the full marathon distance yet.”

Bookmyer, who ran 2:32:31 at the Chevron Houston Marathon last January, graduated from Ohio State in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Management and Operations. While she was a member of the Buckeyes’ cross country and track teams she was not a scholarship athlete. Now she has a better understanding as to why she was limited.

“I was a walk-on at OSU. I got better but I wasn’t a star in college,” she explained. “When I look back at it, it was probably because I was sick at the time. I didn’t know I had a brain tumour. I competed on the team but my times weren’t spectacular. I lettered in cross country and track but I wasn’t All-American and I didn’t make it to the NCAA’s.”

A series of stress fractures also held her back and it was by a stroke of luck that the tumor was discovered.

“In different blood tests to try to find why I got stress fractures they found one of my hormones, prolactin, was high,” Bookmyer revealed.  “This (hormone) is associated with tumours near your pituitary gland. They did a scan and they found the tumour in my ventricle. It was kind of luck. I probably had symptoms but thought it was normal.”

Following the diagnosis she underwent a spinal tap to determine if the cancer cells were in her spinal column. Fortunately, it came back negative. But the surgery to remove the growing tumour was…

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