Kerry Smart has been running since she was in high school.
Five years ago, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she wasn’t sure she would run another race.
This year, the Sugarloaf 15K was scheduled on the exact day of her five-year cancer anniversary. To celebrate being cancer free, Kerry and her friend and Thomas colleague, Deb Biche-Labbe, decided to run it together.
“Deb was a great partner and is always so supportive. My training wasn’t anything like I had done in the past due to time constraints, but I did it,” said Kerry. “I ran the whole thing. It was really about finishing, to mark this important day.”
Kerry is originally from Cumberland, Rhode Island, but has called Maine her home for many years now. She has worked at Thomas College as the Men’s and Women’s Cross-Country Coach for ten years now and as the Development Officer for Athletics for five and a half years. She enjoys working at Thomas because of the people.
“I absolutely love the community and the people here.”
Kerry is also very involved in the local community. Over the years, she has served on the boards of Hospice Volunteers, United Way, St. John Catholic School Board, and is currently on the Waterville Women’s Area Club. She attends several Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce events, and her family are members of the Waterville Country Club.
Kerry said it’s important to have something to do outside of work.
“For me, I run for myself. It is a way to relieve stress and take my mind off things.”
Kerry’s thinking surrounding health and wellness has changed since her diagnosis.
“Health and wellness is not something to take for granted,” she said. “When faced with your own mortality, it really puts things in perspective. The importance of taking care of myself both physically and mentally became one of the more important things in my life.”
Kerry is happy she was able to run the Sugarloaf 15K last month.
“I am so thankful that I can still run these races – maybe not as fast as I used to, but I’m getting to the finish line,” she said. “I still get on that line every time thinking, I just might win. And, that was the attitude I took five years ago when I was diagnosed. Losing wasn’t an option.”
“I am so thankful for the support from this community, back then and now,” said Kerry. “Thank you to everybody.”