October 15, 2003
The Indianapolis Star
The marathon has become a metaphor for Susan Krieg's life.
It is a race of slow-burning embers rather than a fiery explosion. It requires courage and optimism just to take the next step.
"I'm hoping to be a light for someone else so that you don't have to give up the dreams you have," she said.
Krieg, of Pittsboro, Ind., had a peculiar reaction after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in December 1992. She became energized.
Not physically. MS is a disease of the central nervous system characterized by speech disturbances, lack of muscle coordination, bladder dysfunction and fatigue.
But psychologically, Krieg had a renewed urgency.
She had always wanted to run a marathon, so she did. She has run five of them.
She organized a running team, Marathon Strides, that raises money for MS research. The group has raised $35,413 toward its 2003 goal of $50,000.
She sings in the Bethesda Baptist Church choir in Brownsburg and released a compact disc, "Count It All Joy," that sells for $20. Proceeds go to the Tri-State MS Association.
(The CD can be purchased online at www.tristate.ms. Information about Marathon Strides is at www.msindiana.org.)
She is the mother of one son, Michael, 15, and one daughter, Taylor, 7.
That's a busy lifestyle for someone who recently turned 40 and endures a chronic illness.
"I do count it all joy," Krieg said. "I don't think God is ever going to give you more than you can handle."
Her team raised nearly $10,000 in pledges from an Oct. 5 marathon at Detroit. Krieg, recovering from a hip injury, ran with four others in a relay.
Her fastest full marathon, at Boston, was 4 hours, 39 minutes.
She has run the Indianapolis Life 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in 1:58. She was one of the 2001 winners of the half-marathon's Celebrating Life awards.
Krieg credits breakthrough medication and support from husband David for enabling her to overcome fears and reclaim vitality. Her message to those with MS is not so much to run as to strive.
"It's about looking inside yourself to discover those passions you have
in your heart," she said.
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