Unlikely but determined group tackles its first marathon

The New Image Girls: (from left to right) Karen Edwards, Darlene Smith, Tami August, Angela Rice, Angela Carpenter. Missing are Joan James and Jonelle Stubbington. - courtesy Angela Carpenter
The New Image Girls: (from left to right) Karen Edwards, Darlene Smith, Tami August, Angela Rice, Angela Carpenter. Missing are Joan James and Jonelle Stubbington.
— image credit: courtesy Angela Carpenter

There's a saying, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

That won't be the case here.

If the seven local women who are planning on running the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas marathon and half-marathon this November have their way, the entire world is going to know about it. And then some.

Tami August, a personal fitness trainer and owner of New Image Fitness said the idea to get the four single moms and three others attending one of her boot camps running marathons and half-marathons started innocently enough.

"It was one innocent comment, I told them my goal of running the marathon and that's how it started," she said. "One by one they said, 'I want to do it too.'"

Angela Carpenter, Angela Rice, Darlene Smith, Karen Edwards, Jonelle Stubbington and Joan James plan on joining August at the Nov. 16 event. They call themselves, "the New Image Girls."

The event isn't your typical marathon, after all, it's happening in Vegas. August said that atypically, both the half- and full marathon start late afternoon, unlike other marathons' early morning starts. In addition, this marathon has a real party atmosphere, with bands playing along the route.

Race proceeds will go to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America.

While August isn't a stranger to the long races — she's run three marathons — it's not the same for the rest of the group, who range from their early 30s to 59.

"A lot of us aren't in running shape, some of us have trouble walking,"  Carpenter said, laughing. "Three of us are grannies, we call ourselves the jiggling grannies."

You might have seen them training. It's a picture you're unlikely to forget.

During group runs, you'll see Smith pushing her foster child  in his stroller, up and down hills.

"We cheer her on, but none of us offer to push that stroller," August said laughing. "We've been there, done that."

The fitness trainer said this group of women, whether they're pushing a stroller or not, is one determined group of gals.

"They're determination and drive is phenomenal," August said. "As single moms, their ability to organize their lives around their running schedule is amazing."

For Carpenter, part of her motivation is showing her students at the Cowichan Tribes elementary school that sheer grit and determination can see you through.

"I'm doing it to set an example for my kids," Rice said. "it's also time for myself."

Part of their energy is being spent fundraising for the races. As for many single moms, money can be tight so they are asking for the public's help in helping them realize their dreams.

Six hundred dollars has been raised to date, it's almost enough money to pay for their rooms. August says their goal is $5,000.

A 50-50 draw is being held at the end of July. They're also raffling off a weekend in Campbell River, which has been donated by the Best Western Austrian Chalet.

"I get emotional just thinking about them crossing the finish line," August said. "These women have no idea. Being able to push through their pain and fatigue and come out the other side, they will be able to push through anything. You just never know what you can do."

Those wanting to contribute, or learn more about the new image girls can visit their Facebook page at:



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