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Louisiana Marathon to mark 100th race for hobby runner

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BATON ROUGE - In the crowd of thousands expected to participate, Sunday's Louisiana Marathon will mark a milestone for one Texas runner.

"My goal is upright, uninjured, and official," Sheila Lewis said. "And then have fun along the way."

While it will be the first time she's participated in this specific marathon, Lewis is no stranger to 26.2 miles. She ran her first marathon in 2002. After six years off, the hobby runner laced back up and has been running ever since.

Lewis is a member of two running groups. Fellow marathoners have become friends.

Those friends have repeatedly told her the Louisiana Marathon is a must, but she's never been able to make it work with her schedule.

"Both groups love this marathon," Lewis said. "I mean, I've had so many people that I run with in Wisconsin and they're like, 'oh you have to do the Louisiana marathon.' Local texas runners have gone on and on and on about what a fun marathon it is. How it's just a huge party, and Baton Rouge is so welcoming."

This year, the stars have aligned and Lewis is finally running it Sunday. It comes at a perfect time, as it will mark her 100th marathon.

"So I was really excited to make this one number 100, because my family is in Texas, so they're coming," Lewis said. "We're gonna stay on Sunday and celebrate and have a party, and just have a big time."

Lewis' hobby has taken her across the country. Just last month, she completed her goal of marathoning in all 50 states, with a race in Hawaii.

"They gave me the number 50 bib," Lewis said. "I was in tears when she told me because it was a total surprise."

Once she crosses the finish line Sunday, Lewis isn't quite sure if she'll hang up her running shoes for good.

"That was the plan," Lewis said. "But then I was like well [the] Cowtown [in] Fort Worth is such a great marathon. "So, I don't know, but I don't have to worry about it after that. Like I can do a marathon if I want to because I've done 100, right?"

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