“For the third time in my mid-50s, I had to
relearn how to walk,” she says.
She did and in May 2018 she was given the
green light to run again. She ran, and she raced.
She raced well, placing second in her age group –
women between ages 55 and 59 — in the Wrights-ville
Beach Triathlon again, even though the
course had been converted to a 5-kilometer run,
due to recent damage from Hurricane Florence.
She then placed second in her age group in the
5-kilometer Turkey Trot, held in Wrightsville
Beach on Thanksgiving Day 2018. In 2019, she
placed second in her age group in both the Azalea
Sprint Triathlon and Wrightsville Beach Triathlon.
“This was not only a physical journey to battle
back from a devastating injury, but also a mental
and spiritual journey,” she says. “As soon as possi-ble
after each surgery, I worked out my upper body.”
Unable to run, bike, or even swim, and still
on crutches, she did what she could. After a
friend spied her training at the gym despite using
crutches, he posted: “I’m not one to be impressed
by what people have accomplished, but by what
Williams didn’t intentionally strive to provide
Prefontaine-like inspiration, but she’s happy to be a
positive example of perseverance.
It’s not who’s the best — it’s who can take the most pain.
— Steve Pr efontaine
“I remember reading years ago that if you can’t be
a good example, you will be a horrible warning,” she
says. “I had told myself, from the beginning, that
this was not going to define me, and that I would run
Having already overcome obstacles that would
wither a lesser mortal, Williams continues to strive
for excellence. She is running more miles, tackling
more tough track sessions, and devoting even more
time to the gym.
“I’m not finished yet, and I’m not satisfied,” she
says. “I’m building strength, endurance and speed.
Walking wasn’t good enough, running wasn’t good
enough, and second place isn’t good enough. I want
to run Boston again.”
No doubt she will run Boston, triumph over mile
23, and again experience the euphoria that accompa-nies
crossing the finish line.
Alecia Williams is able to train and compete
successfully after three operations and extensive