Finish line celebration

Neighbors rally for Segar’s marathon end

  • Surprising virtual marathon finisher Beth Segar (center) on Saturday, Oct. 31, were her parents (to her immediate right and left) Richard “Dick” and Kathy Segar, and her Glen Abbey neighbors, from left, Lee Costanzo, Judy Westenhaver, Gale Wright, Brent Giles, Edie Wright, Dennis Laneman and Ann Walker. Also pictured is Beth’s dog, Drew. - Photo submitted

  • Crossing the finish line - Photo submitted

Glen Abbey resident Beth Segar finished the virtual Marine Corps Marathon Saturday, Oct. 31 with a surprise at the finish line.

Her parents, Richard “Dick” and Kathy Segar, and several neighbor — who had decorated the front of her home with balloons and flags at the  finish line — stood by to cheer on the Farragut marathon participant.

“It was incredible,” Beth, a designer with the Discovery Channel, said of the welcoming crowd that awaited her finish. “I was so happy to be done and see people I know there.

“With all the other virtual races I’ve done, there was no one at the finish line to see me (cross the line),” she said. “This felt more like a real race.”

When Beth mentioned that fact to her father, he was right on it, contacting her neighbors, who were more than happy to greet her with balloons and American flags.

“She makes me so proud,” her father said. “I couldn’t be more proud of her … I have never seen anybody so focused.”

“I think it’s awesome,” Kathy said of her daughter’s feat.

“It’s a very big honor,” neighbor Barbara Laneman said of Segar’s participation in the Marine Corps Marathon, adding, “Everyone loves (Beth) … I think she is one of the nicest young ladies.”

Dick noted his daughter is a quiet person, preferring cozying up to a book instead of going to parties.

“She likes a more quiet life,” he noted, adding the virtual runs fit well with that part of her personality.

While Beth Segar usually runs in such events, her father, Dick Segar, said she sustained tendonitis in January during the Disney marathon, so she walked the Marine Corps event.

“She spent this summer using the virtual races as a rehabilitation (after the Disney race,” Dick said.

“This wasn’t the fastest marathon,” Beth noted. Still, “It was awesome. I made it.”

In the virtual marathon, she walked 26.2 miles, starting at her home then walked via Turkey Creek, Grigsby Chapel,  Everett Road, and McFee Road, then back to her home. At the end, Beth’s Garmin watch read 26.28 miles.

“She would not stop walking until she did 26.2 miles,” Dick said. He recalled her telling him, ‘If I’m doing it on my elbows, I’ll be doing 26.2.’”

After the event, Beth commented, “I feel a little sore; my feet are still tired.”

She said she “stuck mostly to the greenways,” Beth said. “I had my boyfriend, Brent Giles, meet me at the Turkey Creek greenway. He walked 4 miles with me.”

When she reached McFee Road, she met up with her father, who lives nearby.

“He had walked three miles with me with his cane, which was impressive,” Beth said. “He had hip surgery, back surgery, and a year and half ago, double bypass surgery.”

For Beth, this weekend’s event was more difficult than the Disney run because she didn’t have the thousands of people at the starting line, cheering the runners and the character stops along the way, so she had less motivation than before.

She noted the Disney run also was cut short to 25.5 miles because of COVID, so Saturday’s finish was an accomplishment for her.

“I really wanted to make the full 26.2 miles,” Beth said. “I finally did it … it feels so good to be able to do that. It’s such a sense of accomplishment.”

She has been running since 2007. Before that, Dick said Beth wasn’t athletic, but her boyfriend got her interested in fitness, then she got the “running addiction.”

“I didn’t do any do any races until last year,” she noted.

She said the Marine Corps Marathon usually is held in Washington, D.C., but because of COVID, it’s marathon was virtual, too.

Her next competition is this week with the Disney Wine & Dine 5K, 10K and half marathon Nov. 5-8 at Walt Disney World.

“I hope I’ll be ready,” Beth added.