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Marathon lady: Former Summit Hill woman runs distance races to be in a ‘good place’

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    Lisa Georgis got a late start to her running career but that hasn’t slowed her down. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Published April 22. 2019 01:00PM


Lisa Georgis runs for a day. Literally.

The 50 year-old former Summit Hill resident runs 24-hour marathons around and around quarter mile tracks. Like a race car, she makes pit stops to change shoes, to eat, to hydrate and to go to the bathroom and then it’s back onto the track.

Georgis, who works for Blue Ridge Cable and currently lives in New Ringgold, ran nearly 105 miles at Philadelphia’s Dawn to Dusk marathon last year. When asked why she doesn’t get bored running around the same oval some 400 times, she replied, “I zone out in my head. I love it. It makes me feel. I suppose you can say I have a passionate addiction to running long distances.”

Georgis didn’t start running until she was 33 years old and began to run competitively at 40. She’s participated in over 40 marathons during the past 10 years.

Last spring, this single mother of five children was involved in a serious car crash that could have ended what she loves to do best.

“I was driving to work on Route 78 when a car suddenly stopped in front of me,” she said. “After I struck the vehicle at full speed, my car flipped over and landed on its roof. Being the tough coal cracker that I am, I climbed through the window.”

Georgis would soon find out that she had broken her pelvis and her knee and was placed in traction for two days.

“For three months, I couldn’t lift anything and I didn’t really start walking again until September.”

She managed to work her way all the way back to running again. To add to her prestigious list of noteworthy running events, Georgis just completed her seventh Boston Marathon last Monday. After qualifying for her first Boston classic in 2012 at age 44 with a time of three hours and forty-five minutes, she was one of 33,000 runners to take to the city streets on Patriot’s Day.

Was she in it to win it?

“Oh goodness, no,” she said with a laugh. “When I run I’m in a good place in my mind so I don’t need to care where I end up in the race.”

For the record, Georgis finished the course in four hours and twenty-three minutes.

When she began running, she built her stamina to enter 5K races, then half-marathons, then onto to 26+ mile marathons, to finally running around the clock for a full day. She’s run in New York, in Wisconsin, in Vermont, and at Disney in Florida.

“I generally run five miles a day. And I’m living proof that running doesn’t require athleticism. I didn’t play any sports in high school and I hated gym class.”

She’s made many friends inside her running world and passes along the advice that living life to the fullest is about relationships and finding a passion that fits who you are.

Georgis contends that she will be running until she’s 100 years old and beyond. She doesn’t drink or smoke and is a vegetarian to keep herself in prime physical shape.

“There’s no such thing as you can’t,” she said. “I believe you can do anything you set your mind to doing. With me and running, I started simply by putting one foot in front of the other and that’s all anyone has to do to get out and follow their passion.”


Lisa will eventually find out that all that running is not good for the knees. I ran for 25 years as a competitive middle-distance runner, but was forced to quit due to worsening osteoarthritis of the knees. Come to think of it, my diagnosis was exactly 21 years ago, to the day. Running causes a huge impact on the knees, our shock absorbers. Be kinder to your body. From my observations, many runners lack muscle tone, so adding weights to the cardio regimen is necessary.

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