Thousands of runners laced up the sneakers to participate in the 2012 Williams Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa on Sunday.
68-year-old Bev ‘Grammy’ DiCarlo from Pennsylvania checked the half-marathon off as part of her quest to complete races in 50 states to raise money for autism awareness programs.
“I have a grandson with autism, Aiden is eleven-year-old and my family challenged me to run a half marathon in all fifty states,” said Grammy Bev.
The Route 66 Marathon was the 42nd race in her 50 state challenge.
“Tulsa is a very, very friendly city,” Grammy Bev told FOX23.
The 68-year-old grandmother’s goal is to raise $100,000 for The Barber National Institute. The Institute helps more than 3,600 children and adults with special needs find hope and opportunities.
As of October 31st, Grammy Bev had raised just over $30,000.
“We wanted people to know that when they make a donation, all 100% of that contribution is used for programs for children and adults with special needs,” explained DiCarlo.
Grammy Bev began racing in 2010 and has eight races to complete in Delaware, Alaska, Wyoming, North Dakota, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota and New Mexico.
Grammy Bev told FOX23 that in every race she runs she always thinks of her grandson on mile marker 12 and the Route 66 half marathon was no different.
“Every step is for Aiden,” said Dicarlo, “No matter how hot or tired I am I just remember that Aiden is plugging away and doing his best and at least I can too.”
Each race is a small victory but Grammy Bev says that she has her eye on the big picture.
“I really just want to make people aware that autism is here and anything that we can do to help families with autism is appreciated.”
She says she hopes to the raise the money and complete all 50 races by another important milestone; her 70th birthday.
“When I complete all 50 states it will be 1,310,000 steps for autism,” said Grammy Bev.