Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Go big or go home

Local woman running 50 miles in WL and LO to raise funds for diabetes programs


by: VERN UYETAKE - Duback laces up her shoes for yet another long run.What is the most exciting part about attempting to run 50 miles? The distance. What is the most nerve-wracking part of attempting to run 50 miles? The distance.

What is the most rewarding part? Raising funds for charity.

West Linn resident Janet Duback will be running 50 miles through West Linn and Lake Oswego on June 24 to raise money for the American Diabetes Association, a group near and dear to her heart.

Duback has someone close to her who suffers from the late stages of Type 2 diabetes and has seen its effects. And Duback herself may have been at risk for developing the disease years ago.

In 2005, Duback was 100 pounds heavier than she is today. At the time, her stepson decided to join the Air Force. To help him get through basic training, they started going to West Linn's Fit For Life. Duback, who is in her 40s, challenged herself to work up to running a mile, and then two miles.

'I was tired of being heavy. I just started running,' Duback said. 'It's my quiet time. I like the rhythm aspect of running.'

When she overheard someone in the gym mention they wanted to run a marathon, Duback decided she would like to do the same thing. So she ran the Portland Marathon in 2005.

'My first race was a marathon, which is craziness,' she said.

Since then, she has raced eight marathons and has qualified for the Boston Marathon four times.

by: VERN UYETAKE - Duback, who has worked at Lake Oswego's Wizer's for the last 13 years as the bakery manager, also instructs kettle bell classes at Fit For Life.

Getting fit became a way of life for her.

This spring, when four of her friends signed up to race the Comrades Marathon, a 50-mile race in South Africa, they wanted Duback to join them. When she said she couldn't go, they suggested she do it virtually with them.

The idea stuck with her, but the thought of running 50 miles without the atmosphere of other runners and no medal at the end did not appeal to her. So, instead, she thought she could use the event to raise money for the American Diabetes Association.

She started training for the big run back in the beginning of March, building up her mileage. Her longest training run was 35 miles, and all her miles were run locally on city roads.

Because she likes a challenge and enjoys running hills, what better place to run than locally?

Duback plans to start her June 24 run at 3 a.m. to avoid the heat and traffic. She will start from her home, looping Pete's Mountain and creating two large loops throughout West Linn. She then will head along Highway 43 into Lake Oswego. She will run around the lake and then head back to West Linn, where she will complete her last six miles at the West Linn High School track.

Duback said she is both scared and excited to try her first ultra marathon, but she is also motivated to raise the charity funds.

'I'm really nervous getting through this in one piece,' she said. 'You have to eat and drink continuously.'

Although Duback specializes in shorter races, such as 5Ks, she enjoys the miles spent outside.

'I don't think this will be the last time I do this,' she said.

The funds Duback raises from her run will go toward the American Diabetes Association's Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes program. She hopes the money will go toward nutrition education.

'I would just like people to be better educated about nutrition and learn better eating habits,' she said.

If you would like to support Duback and make a pledge, visit tinyurl.com/7q9739h for a direct link to Duback's fundraising page, or visit diabetes.org/portlandstepout and click on 'Find a participant.'