What Moves You: Sayward's Story

by Erin Carlin
Everyone’s running journey is different. And as we countdown to race weekend, we want to celebrate what MOVES you to run and be part of the 2019 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events! Today, we’d like to introduce Sayward Elliott — avid runner, single mom and full-time Community Relations Manager and Assistant Vice President at Bank of America.
A self-professed morning person, Sayward fell in love with running during morning runs at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). Though she would not call herself an athletic child, she often enjoyed a walk or run in the early morning hours before almost everyone else woke up in her dorm. She enjoyed it so much that she still runs today!

After completing her first half marathon in 2005 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Sayward became hooked! She has been running for so long that it comes as no surprise her 9-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter have followed in her footsteps. Plus, boyfriend Kenny is an accomplished triathlete. 

While her son is now determined to become an Ironman one day, Sayward has convinced him to stick with running shorter distances for now. In fact, he will be participating in the UPMC Health Plan / UPMC Sports Medicine Pittsburgh 5K for the second time on May 5, 2019. And for the second year in a row, Sayward will be toeing the start line right beside him.

Sayward previously ran the UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon with her best friend Corinne, and though she’ll miss the thousands of spectators that line the streets of the various neighborhoods, she is excited to support him in his new found joy of running. She knows how it feels to cross that finish line and believes she will experience the same joy as she watches him cross the finish line with a smile his face.

But the race isn’t just about crossing the finish line for Sayward and her family. Both her son and Kenny — who will run the full marathon this year — registered as charity runners this year to support and fundraise for the Parkinson Foundation Western Pennsylvania. Sayward says running a race is a great experience, but it’s the Run for a Reason Charity Program presented by Bank of America that keeps all of them MOVING with purpose.

It’s amazing to see all that her son has accomplished since Sayward showed him the benefits of running and trained with him for his first race. Running together has helped them to bond and find common ground they may not have had before. When they’re not training for a race, Sayward and her family keep on MOVING with bike rides or some other outdoor activity.

It’s important to Sayward that she and her family stay active however they can. They all have busy schedules but make time to be healthy and do it in a creative way. Right now, it’s training for their respective DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend events. Sayward and her family will continue MOVING toward the start line so they are pumped and ready for race day! 

According to Sayward, race weekend is “a time to get together with the City of Pittsburgh and run. And when the community comes out to cheer on people they don’t know, it brings true joy to the day. When you’re out and people are screaming, it shows just how supportive and amazing the Steel City can be!” 

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