MORGANTOWN — This weekend, Point Pleasant was represented by native Joyce (Lanham) Berryman who ran in and completed the New York City Marathon.
Berryman said she began running when she was in her mid-30’s when her children were still young. She said running afforded her an activity that was all her own and, of course, a time in the day which was exclusively hers as well - time being something we all value and never seem to have enough of. Time is also of value to any runner and Berryman’s life as a runner is often about her best time.
As the years went on, Berryman’s daughter Claire joined her on runs and eventually the pair began running marathons. Berryman has competed in marathons in Washington DC, the Boston Marathon, Pittsburgh, Pa. as well as Columbus, Ohio where she had her best time two years ago, allowing her to qualify for the NYC Marathon. Due to Hurricane Sandy canceling the NYC Marathon last year, Berryman was allowed to take her Columbus time from the year before and participate this past weekend which essentially meant she’d been anticipating this race for two years. She said she was disappointed the race was canceled last year but took that disappointment and ran the 26.2 miles near her home anyway on what would’ve been the day of last year’s marathon. That 26.2 miles is basically like running from Point Pleasant to Ripley.
She said the experience of the NYC Marathon was one she’ll never forget. She said the wind was blowing 15 miles per hour during the entire race which was wall-to-wall people on all sides - some slowing down ahead of her, some wanting to get around from behind. In short, it was an obstacle course through that 26.2 miles that traverse through the city’s five boroughs - Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan. The route includes traversing the city’s bridges as well, bridges with inclines and declines being navigated within a pack of other runners - around 50,000 runners. To put that in perspective, Mason County only has around 27,000 residents. In addition to this, around two million spectators turn out for the event which is more than the 1.8 million residents in all of West Virginia.
Berryman ran the famous race in 3 hours, 56 minutes, saying she was so happy to finish in under four hours. As for if she’ll run the race again, Berryman said probably not, only because now it has been done and it’s on to next great race in the next amazing place.
Berryman is a 1973 graduate of Point Pleasant High School and daughter of Charles and Lily Faye Lanham of Point Pleasant. She currently is a speech pathologist at a public school in Morgantown where she lives with her husband Jeff.