‘No matter what society may define them as, we really have no limits’: Family prepares for Bakersfield Marathon

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Thousands of people will be running, walking, and bonding at the 2024 Bakersfield Marathon.

“Nothing’s worth doing unless it’s hard,” Evangelia Pappas said at sign-up day.

Pappas and her friend Natalie Beccera are signing up with hundreds of others to run a marathon, half-marathon, 10K or a 6K. They chose the 13.1-mile half marathon.

“I’ve loved running and so what better race to start than with my hometown, you know?” Beccera said.

“This is actually going to be my third half-marathon,” Pappas said.

The races start and end at the Kern County Museum. Belinda Pursel and her kids ran the 6K. This makes it their fifth year doing so.

“We started out the marathon with Anastasia being pushed in a stroller,” said Pursel. “We did two marathons with her in a stroller and then we took a break because of COVID and then the next marathon she walked herself and we have dreams of her being able to run this marathon.”

Pursel’s daughter Anastasia was diagnosed with leukemia at 16 months. It’s been a long road, but Anastasia’s ready to run this year.

“Our team name is team no limits, and our ultimate goal is to make it a bigger event to have more people come out and join us and set that standard that no matter what, someone looks like, no matter what society may define them as, we really have no limits,” Anastasia’s big sister, Sarah Celine Pursel said.

For some, the race is about winning. For others it’s about pushing past your limits. But no matter who you are the 17 News team will be at the 17th mile to cheer you on.

“I’m really excited for the race tomorrow,” Pursel said.

“Next year the dream is the marathon, baby. Here we come,” said Pappas.

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