Leander resident raising $10,000 for charity to run Boston Marathon

Leander's Ray Sterriker wears his five medals that are part of the marathon series. (Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)
Leander's Ray Sterriker wears his five medals that are part of the marathon series. (Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)

Leander's Ray Sterriker wears his five medals that are part of the marathon series. (Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Leander's Ray Sterriker is pictured after the 2019 London Marathon. (Courtesy Ray Sterriker)
Leander resident Ray Sterriker is raising $10,000 for charity in order to qualify for the Boston Marathon, which he said will be his 12th—and what he considers most important—marathon.

The 46-year-old is on the cusp of a distance-running milestone: completing the sixth and final marathon of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, a series that spans three continents.•The morning of April 20, he plans to toe the starting line of the world’s most heralded endurance race, the Boston Marathon, and complete the series.

On March 28, he is hosting a golf tournament benefiting the Stepping Strong charity, which began after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and helps patients with severe limb trauma, according to the charity’s website.

Why did you choose this charity?

Boston has a list of charities to choose from, but this one resonated with me. Gillian Reny was at the [2013 Boston Marathon] finish line supporting her big sister who was running when the bombs went off. She suffered extreme trauma to her legs, but the doctors at [Brigham and Women’s Hospital] saved her life and her legs. This hospital works with veterans and victims of trauma to assist in the recovery of limbs and extremities.

How many marathons have you completed, and which was your most difficult?

Eleven. ... I think the Austin Marathon is the hardest I’ve run. I’ve run it three times, and it’s really hilly, humid, difficult. The New York City Marathon was my slowest marathon, but it was the fifth of five in that calendar year that I ran.•What was your favorite?•New York City. The experience is phenomenal. You run through all five boroughs; you run over the Brooklyn Bridge, the Staten Island Bridge, all of these major bridges, and the crowd turnout—it’s phenomenal.

You have Type 1 diabetes. How do you deal with the disease when running a marathon?

I’ve been a Type 1 diabetic since I was 11, and I’ve been an athlete all my life, so I’ve learned to deal with it. I can usually tell when it’s time [to eat sugar]. You’ll see most runners with three, four Gu packs, and I’ll be carrying seven or eight.

Less than 1,300 runners have completed the Abbott series. What will it be like when you cross the finish line and complete the series?

I’m sure it’ll be emotional. It’s taken a lot of work.


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