Mother Taking On Grueling Race To Honor K.I.A. Son

He was killed in a bomb blast in Afghanistan last year.

He was killed in a bomb blast in Afghanistan.

Last year, Joy Eastman of Moose Pass, Alaska sat and watched runners competing in the grueling Mount Marathon race on July 4. “I really should do this race,” she recalled.

Eastman forgot about the idea.

Fourteen days later, her life turned upside down.

On July 18, 2010, her son, Chris, himself a veteran of the junior Mount Marathon race, was killed in a bomb blast in Afghanistan where he was serving as a gunnery sergeant with the U.S. Marine Corps.

“That made up my mind,” recalls Eastman who is a mother of eight.

At the age of 66, she will make her race debut today. Her journey to complete the race has been a long one. The race is anything but easy. It entails running up and down the 3,022-foot Mount Marathon. Six weeks after losing her son, Eastman lost her sister.

“I think just making yourself get out every day, I don’t know, you still think about it when you’re running, but it just helped because I had to go out and practice every day. It gave me something to do every morning when I got up,” she said.

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