I’ll never forget first hearing about Kerry Sheeran’s The Marathon. Since we live in the same town, I remember the day the book was out because everyone on Facebook was talking about it. It was incredible. I wasn’t sure what the book was about. I wasn’t sure who Kerry was. But I’ll tell you what, there was something that was drawing me to her and her book, The Marathon. About 2 days later, a mutual friend of ours came up to me at my son’s baseball game and told me, “You need to read The Marathon, I think you’re readers would love it if you wrote about it and encouraged moms to read it, too.”
That was it.
I knew I needed to grab a copy.
I don’t want to give too much of the book away because it’s the kind of read that when you pick it up, you can’t put it down. It draws you in. It inspires you. It mesmerizes you. You will feel emotions throughout the book. You will feel connected to Kerry and her family. It’s the kind of read where you just need to fully be part of it throughout.
So what is The Marathon all about?
In THE MARATHON, author Kerry Sheeran courageously reveals the innermost thoughts and fears of parents struggling with experiences far beyond their control. Her true story uncovers the heart and soul behind one of the world’s most historic races while beautifully demonstrating the power of inner strength, endurance, and human connection. Honest, humorous and raw, the emotions ring true from the start all the way through to an ending no one will predict. Of broad appeal to parents, athletes, medical professionals, and families in search of healing.
As Tom Sheeran prepares to run the Boston Marathon, he comes across an envelope, stuffed into his bag the morning of the race. Written by his wife, the letter inside matches the course’s 26.2 miles with the struggles he and his family have endured during the previous, sometimes heart-breaking, fifteen months. Joining Tom as he tackles the course from Hopkinton to Copley Square, the reader follows the gripping ride of a family’s response to life’s incredible twists in the road. Uniquely told from both parent’s points of view, THE MARATHON follows a couple’s attempt to save both their child’s life and their dwindling faith.
It’s beautifully written.
It’s full of love.
I had the chance to interview Kerry Sheeran and I was so happy that she gladly said yes to answering my questions.
1. What made you want to write this book?
I started out with the intent of writing this story for my children. We all want to teach our kids life lessons, but sometimes everything doesn’t sink-in the way we want it to. My hope was to bring my six kids on the journey most of them were too young to even know they’d already traveled. But as the book took shape, it became clear to me that others might benefit from hearing our story: Parents with children in crisis; Those feeling spiritually abandoned; Athletes who seek inspiration; People in search of healing. It became something bigger than what I had originally intended it to be.
2. How was the process of it for you? Was it difficult? Was it helpful?
Was it something you just knew needed to be written?
The process was very therapeutic. Certain moments that I never discussed with anyone were etched in my mind and weighed heavy on my heart. Writing was a release. It felt liberating to be honest about my thoughts and feelings. Sometimes parents hold each other to an unachievable standard of perfection. I wanted to squash that ideal, and reveal the human side of a mother and father facing a crisis. Navigating through the extremes of parenthood, marriage, faith and long-distance running was a profound process for me. My epiphanies and awakenings along the way were life-changing. I knew I needed to share them.
3. What does it feel like to have your story out there?
I’ve spent the last six years trying to give our daughter a “normal” life. I never wanted her challenges to outweigh her achievements. Feeling sorry for herself was not an option. So telling her (and our) story in such a big way has been somewhat strange, in all honesty. So many of our close friends never knew half the things I wrote about. A big part of THE MARATHON has to do with the importance of human connection and support. I knew if I was going to share our extremely personal and heart-wrenching truths, it had to be for a grander purpose – which is why I donate a portion of the proceeds to Boston Children’s Hospital.
4. What do you want people to walk away with from your story?
My hope is to illustrate the power or inner-strenth, endurance and faith. THE MARATHON isn’t only about my family’s trials and tribulations – there are several other stories of inspiration and heartache woven in-between the pages. It is how we all connect to one another that makes the difference. Most people search for answers to some of life’s biggest questions. I want readers to walk away with the knowledge and hope that finding these answers is a genuine possibility – if we look in the right places.
5. How does it feel to have people be inspired and so moved from your story?
I have been overwhelmed with the response from my readers. Some write to say I have put into words everything they weren’t able to when they faced a similar obstacle. Others tell me they have revisited their ideas about their own spirituality. A woman wrote me recently to share that she decided to go back to school to become a NICU nurse because my story inspired her to do so. It’s absolutely incredible! So many readers have shared with me THE MARATHON’s impact on them personally. I have to admit, I never dreamed our story would touch so many people on so many different levels. It has made every minute of work worth the effort – and then some.
**Also, every time you purchase a copy of THE MARATHON, a portion of the proceeds goes directly towards the advancement of neonatal and prenatal care at Boston Children’s Hospital.**