Every day we like to shine a spotlight on people doing amazing work — both with Charity Miles and without. Today we’re featuring Megan Barnes, a runner who was touched in many ways by the Boston Marathon this year — in fact, she was there!

Here’s what she had to say:

What is your greatest accomplishment as of late?
Running the 2013 Boston Marathon in April. After miles and miles of training, I found myself amongst thousands of other extraordinary runners and I felt honored to run along side each and every one if them. We had all put in the hard work, had suffered through injuries and setbacks, gotten up at the crack of dawn to get a morning run in before work, and now we had all come together to lay everything down on that pavement ahead of us. I had such a powerful feeling come over me as I crossed the start line in Hopkinton that stayed with me for the duration of the race and I feel that even now I am a stronger, more courageous runner and individual.

How did you achieve it?
In order to achieve this goal I had to run the marathon, I just had to commit to it! To make the decision and fully commit to put in the miles my training schedule required was half the battle. Each week, finishing my long run gave me a huge sense of accomplishment and only propelled me to continue training strong so that I could ultimately reach my goal! I also couldn’t have done it without the support of my friends and family!

What motivates you to make the world a better place?
The response to the horrific bombings at the marathon by both runners and the Boston community alike was something that really moved me. The kindness and compassion that was extended to the victims, to the runners who could not finish, and the community was a beautiful example of the power of the human spirit. It motivated me to want to give back in some way that would motivate others to run, whether that be their first 5k, or their 50th marathon, and to do it in dedication of the tragic events back on April 15th. I started a website in which I set a goal of reaching 100 races run by April 2014, and we are well on our way to meet our goal! It is so inspiring for me to see friends and family participate! My hope is for that feeling of inspiration continues to be shared and passed on.

What do you do to stay healthy and fit?
Running is my absolute favorite form of exercise because it not only keeps me healthy and fit, but clears my head, allows me to explore new trails, and is the best (and cheapest!) form of therapy available! Any time I feel stressed, a good run is the best cure! However I also enjoy yoga, biking, swimming, and wakeboarding!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
We have this one life, that’s all we get! Don’t sit back and let it pass you by!

What’s your favorite aspect of using Charity Miles?
I love that Charity Miles is an easy, quick way to give back. It’s a no brainer! Not only do I run for my benefit, but now I can benefit others at the same time. Everyone wins!

Who do you exercise for, and why?
I exercise so that I can be the best ME I can be for other people. I find that exercise brings out the best in me!

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