From 5K to 50K: Santa Rosa Beach resident makes lifestyle change after one run

atha vermillion

Vermillion at the Chicago Marathon this past October.

Special to The Sun
Published: Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 03:39 PM.

Before Atha Vermillion started running in 2008, she couldn't even last for a half-mile.

"I had my fifth child in 2005 and had 50-pounds to lose," the Santa Rosa Beach resident said. "I was a little bit lost."

Now, five years later, she's a certified running coach through Road Runner's Club of America and training for the Tallahassee Ultra Marathon. This past October she ran the Chicago marathon. Needless to say, she's way past the half-mile mark.

"From that first day, I was hooked," said the 38-year-old.

After about seven months of running, Vermillion had shed her excess weight, has more energy and even more clarity, she recalls. But the benefits of running go beyond physical changes.

"Sometimes, it's therapy," she said. "I come up with some of my best ideas while running."

It wasn't long until she started to enter races and set bigger goals for herself.

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