Running Through the Pain
Rhonda Watt and her brother are pictured here at a 10k race they both competed at in Airdrie last summer. Rhonda, who suffers from severe osteoarthritis in her feet, is now tackling her first full marathon in March to raise funds for arthritis research.
One of Rhonda Watt's loves in life is to go for a good run. She has even completed several 10k races and has harboured a secret goal to complete a full marathon for years now. Unfortunately, several years back that dream looked like it might die unrealized when Rhonda was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis in both of her feet. She was shocked to hear her doctor tell her, after looking at a set of x-rays, that she had the feet of an 80 year old and would need to take very good care of them just to remain mobile.
Upon hearing that, Rhonda began a treatment regime that includes massage, orthotics, physio, medication, and cortisone injections. Then, a little over a year ago, in order to save the extra stress to her feet, Rhonda moved to a desk job as opposed to the physically taxing, twelve hour, on-your-feet shifts that she had always previously worked in her chosen career of nursing. But through all of this, Rhonda kept on running.
Once her feet began to feel better after changing jobs, instead of doing what most people would do and simply enjoy the lessening of the chronic pain, Rhonda decided that it was now or never to begin training to run that marathon she had been dreaming about for so long!
Then, once Rhonda discovered that she could blend two goals into one by running in a marathon taking place in a part of the world that was on her bucket list to see, and raise money for arthritis research at the same time, everything just seemed to come together. That is how she ended up planning a trip to Italy to run in the Rome Marathon on March 17, 2013.
Rhonda admits that in training for this marathon she has done some more damage to her feet but she admits, "This is a one time deal! I will continue to run afterward but I will never do another marathon." Currently, she is enduring cortisone shots in her feet every three months and is also anticipating undergoing surgery next year, but this has been a goal of Rhonda's for years now and even though every step hurts, she is not willing to let it pass her by.
Over 10,000 runners will be joining her in this race, which will take them over ancient cobblestone streets and past famous landmarks such as the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, St. Peter's Basilica, the Pantheon, and finishing at the Coliseum. All of this just a few weeks before Rhonda's 50th birthday!
In order to participate in this marathon there was a requirement to raise a minimum of $6,300.00 for the Arthritis Society/Joints In Motion charity, but as seems to be the norm for this energetic lady, she decided to shoot for even better than that and is attempting to raise $8,400.00.
Thankfully Rhonda has managed to raise more than the minimum requirement so her spot in the marathon is assured but she still has a ways to go to reach her goal. Rhonda has a web page on the Joints In Motion website where anyone can go to donate and support her run. The address is a long one but you can find her at
and all donations will receive a tax receipt.
Arthritis can hit any one, at any age, at any time, just ask Rhonda. So if you are able, please support this worthy cause and help keep Rhonda running toward a pain free future for thousands of people.
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