Ericka Moore didn’t let injuries keep her from finishing Marine Corps Marathon.
By Julia Donnelly
Ericka Moore, a resident of Cinnaminson, New Jersey, is a mother of three, a teacher at Mayfair Elementary School, a photographer and a marathon runner. Despite her busy home life, Moore finds the time to incorporate training into her schedule. Some days, she wakes up at 4 a.m. before her kids are awake and runs 10 miles. Other days, Moore will strap on a headlamp, grab her pepper spray and run 12 miles at night once her kids are sleeping. While running, she tore ligaments in both knees and was advised by her doctor not to run more than 10 miles.
However, on Oct. 28, Moore ran in the 43rd Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. This marathon has 30,000 participants, making it one of the largest marathons in the world, and is 26.2 miles long. The course passes many of the major monuments in Washington, D.C. and ends at the Marine Corps War Memorial.
Moore, 43, was scheduled to run the Marine Corps Marathon last year. However, she tore ligaments in both knees and needed surgery. This forced her to defer her participation in the Marine Corps Marathon until this year. Moore’s doctor told her not to run more than 10 miles because the tears in her knees were so bad.
“I am very determined, and running really helps me in my life. So, I started running when my doctor gave me permission to, around the end of October, and began building my distance back,” Moore said.
With one knee still torn, Moore had continued to train for the Marine Corps Marathon. She used the marathon’s motto, “Must do, can do, will do,” to inspire her to keep running.
Moore credits her running group, Run856, with motivating her to continue running. The group has 3,000 members of all ages and lots of inspirational stories, Moore said.
“From my running group, I have gained the best family,” Moore said.
She said that this group looks out for each other and pushes one another to be better. Moore said that these people are no longer just her running friends. They are her family. Bill King, a member of Run856, is one of Moore’s running partners and now a close friend.
“She works hard and she’s had some injuries but she’s powered through them, she is a very good runner,” King said.
Having three kids at home makes fitting in time to run a challenge. Moore’s dedication to running allows her to continue finding time to run. She has stayed committed to running because it has helped in her personal life. Moore uses running as a coping mechanism for stress and as a way to stay healthy.
“(Running) gives her a whole lot of confidence. It has made her more aware of things she’s capable of,” Dereck Moore, Ericka’s husband, said.
Moore ran the Marine Corps Marathon to celebrate and honor the people who have fought hard for the country. Running with a cause and purpose has always been an important part of why Moore runs. She ran the NYC half marathon for her mother and raised $1,500 for breast cancer. Moore has run half marathons with Ainsley’s Angels, a charity that builds awareness to America’s special-needs community. Also in 2016, she ran the NYC marathon and raised $2,600 for Parkinson’s disease research.
The thing Moore was looking forward to the most during the Marine Corps Marathon is seeing diverse people cheer for one another. She was excited about the humanitarian aspect and beating the odds she is up against because of her knee injury. She also hopes to inspire her children and her students by running with purpose and for a cause.
“I just think it’s important that people, when doing any kind of activity, that they stay true to themselves and that they are the best version of themselves,” Moore said.
Moore finished the marathon in 4:31:05.
“[The run was fabulous,” Moore said.
She even got selfies with some Marines. ••
Julia Donnelly is a student at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. She wrote the above article for a journalism class.