Runs In The Family - a mother-daughter marathon team

  • Downhome Magazine
  • Posted: Jan 03, 2019 12:55 PM

Only the roar of the crowd is louder than the pounding of feet on pavement as more than 40,000 runners advance along the course of the 45th annual BMW Berlin-Marathon on September 16, 2018. Among those triumphantly crossing the finish line are two Newfoundland women who stayed the course together so they could finish side by side, each marking a milestone at either end of their running careers. Making it even more memorable, they are mother and daughter.

For mom, 56-year-old Donna Power, finishing this race secured her membership in an elite running club. She is now a Six Star Finisher, meaning she has completed all six of the world’s major marathons: Boston, New York, Chicago, London, Tokyo and Berlin. Daughter Tara, 27, will always remember this as her first marathon race.
I had the chance to chat with Tara, Donna and her husband, Henry, at their Paradise, NL, home before they left for Germany. Donna tells me that running is something she picked up later in life. “In 2002, a friend of mine wanted some help and companionship to run the Tely 10, so I did that and got addicted to it. I have done the Tely, I think, 16 times now and still enjoy it,” she says. The first marathon she ever ran, in Ottawa, her time was so good she qualified for the Boston Marathon.
On the other side of this story is Tara, who never ran much growing up but was inspired by her mom to begin training more seriously a few years ago. She says with a smile, “Berlin will be my first marathon ever. To get the chance to do it with my mother as she finishes her last world major is something pretty
Tara adds, “She has already promised she is going to stay with me every step and not leave me. Who gets that kind of support on any run, let alone their first marathon?”
Donna’s husband, Henry, a triathlete himself, says, “This is a very emotional and meaningful thing for our family. Donna is incredibly quiet about her accomplishments, but she is a very positive person and inspires and helps a lot of people in the running community behind the scenes. For instance, for years she has been organizing the group runs for many, many folks on the weekends " but she does it from my email account because she is so shy, so I end up getting all the credit.
“When Donna started running, she changed all our lives for the better. She encouraged us to start running as well, for our health, our mental and physical well being, and to join her on the shorter runs. Now we all love it and have made the best of friends and travelled the world through running and attending these events. Myself and Tara, we can’t keep up with Donna, of course, when it comes to marathons, but I always love to go to these races and cheer her on " I joke that I am her per-sonal water boy. And this time around in Berlin I have not one, but the two most important women in my life to cheer for. I can’t say enough how proud I am of them both.”
As Donna looks ahead to the upcoming Berlin race and beyond, she says, “After I am done with the last major marathon I will keep running, for sure. But I may be a bit more selective on the marathons and do them a bit closer to home. Henry has been very supportive, as this was something I really wanted to get done for a long time. So while I will be very happy, I’ll be a bit sad at the same time to have the Six Majors behind me.” However, it’s ending on a high note, as she says, it’s “a nice way to finish it with my daughter as she starts out.”