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Former Paso High School alumna qualifies again for Boston Marathon 

By Miki Landseadel-Sanders

Paso Robles High School Alumni, running coach and fitness enthusiast Sheri Matthews is heading to the Boston Marathon later this month.

Paso Robles High School alumna, running coach and fitness enthusiast Sheri Matthews is heading to the Boston Marathon later this month.

Life coach and health trainer, Sheri Matthews, takes the challenge in stride

–Sheri Matthews, co-founder of Gals Who Run, running coach and fitness guru, will once again compete in this year’s Boston Marathon. The 1999 Paso Robles High School graduate believes “If you can dream it’s possible, it’s already possible.”

A certified life coach and trainer, Matthews manages corporate wellness programs in San Diego and teaches spin classes during her free time. She offers conditioning, including yoga, to high-powered business execs and invites speakers to advance pathways to health and wellness as a way to encourage employees to find balance in their busy lives. On her website, which she started with fellow fitness and running enthusiast Teresa Howes, she offers guides on how to increase running speed or train for a marathon.

Their mission statement reads, “The Gals Who run mission is to create a virtual community where women who run across the globe can come for inspiration, ideas, support, guidance, accountability and motivation. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just getting comfortable in your running shoes, our goal is to provide you with a multitude of resources to put a pep in your step and down your path of success!” Matthews is also committed to helping challenged athletes beat the odds and improve their performance.

Matthews supporting Heather Abbott  who lost her leg at the 2013 Boston Marathon bombming, at the Challenged Athletes Foundation Triathlon.

Matthews supporting Heather Abbott who lost her leg at the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, at the Challenged Athletes Foundation Triathlon.

Matthews practices what she preaches. Between her own life and work, she keeps pace by running four mornings a week, and one each weekend, across the hilly, fog-swept terrain of San Diego’s sloping mesas. An alumna of University of San Diego, Matthews began to take running seriously in 2003, the year her sorority launched a half marathon (13.5 mi.) in La Jolla, Ca., during a fundraiser to battle Lymphoma, a condition one of her sorority sisters had been diagnosed with that year.

From this relatively early experience, Matthews not only came to respect the extent to which such events required more training than she had prepared for, but that encouraging exercise, just for its own sake, could inspire and influence others to find harmony in their own lives.

However, after this relatively tough race, Matthews postponed her own involvement in serious competition until 2013, when a friend and she decided to challenge the Carlsbad Marathon, a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, and, as a result, Matthews found herself heading victoriously to Boston in 2014—only a year after the terrorist bombing. Undaunted, she reports, more runners than ever applied after this attack.

In addition to helping people in the San Diego area find that sweet coordination between work and wellness, Matthews’ appeal inspires a homegrown qualifier all its own. Women’s running associations in Paso Robles, Atascadero and Morro Bay owe their motivation to chats on her website. Those runners who follow her recommendations “are happy because they push through limitations.” Ownership of this philosophy has Matthews, once again, competing in the Boston Marathon. Over 500,000 bystanders will travel to Boston’s 120th Marathon to watch 24,000 qualifiers and 6,000 special and non-profit participants engage in this year’s world famous event, and, as she humbly maintains, “It’s an honor to cross that finish-line.”

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