Nine days and counting until the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon! We’re pleased to introduce Laura, one of our most enthusiastic marathon volunteers. Laura helps man the Mill Mountain aid station where runners refuel with water and snacks around mile 12.
Name: Laura Ash
Years with Foot Levelers: 17
Role at Foot Levelers: “Layout Technician. When 3D foot scans or foam casting kits arrive [with foot impressions from patients], I look at the image and what the doctor says, and I design the orthotics,” based on Foot Levelers’ proprietary method.
Role at the Blue Ridge Marathon: “I hand out the water and snacks on top of Mill Mountain and I’m a cheerleader.”
Runners crossing the starting line at the 2014 Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon
What made you decide to volunteer? “The very first year I volunteered for the Workout for Payout points” [credits that Foot Levelers offers employees toward free health insurance, days off, and other goodies, earned by eating healthy, exercising, and volunteering]. “But once I got up there to Mill Mountain, I got caught up!
It’s amazing to me: watching that first wave of runners; they’re like a wave of gazelles. Then the people with physical challenges come—and it’s so inspiring…Last year there was a gentleman in a wheelchair; he had no use of his legs, he was doing it all with his arms…
All your life from this high you hear, ‘you can do whatever you put your mind to.’ Some of these runners are disabled, some of them are not so young–they’re older than I am! So seeing them out there reminds you that ‘yes, you really can do whatever you put your mind to.’ It brings that to life.”
How do you feel about Foot Levelers’ involvement in the marathon? “It makes me proud to be part of Foot Levelers, because the marathon brings so much to Roanoke, and we’re giving back to a community that has given so much to us. We’re also showing people how our orthotics can help, whether you’re a professional athlete or just running around the block for fun.”
What are your favorite orthotics? “I like the InMotion… I have them in the shoes I’m wearing right now. I’ll be wearing them on race day too!”