Accumulating miles on foot around Chester is just one small task for two friends who have decided to prepare for the Chicago Marathon. Chesterfield... Local women train for marathon: Murphy, Moody aim to raise funds for cures
Amanda Moody and Frances Murphy are training for the Chicago Marathon. (Ellie Browning photo)

Accumulating miles on foot around Chester is just one small task for two friends who have decided to prepare for the Chicago Marathon.

Chesterfield resident Frances Murphy is running to raise funds for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. Murphy’s friend Amanda Moody will be running to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society because her husband, Art, suffers from Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Murphy originally found her passion for running over 25 years ago from a friend, but she recently began showing her support as a marathoner for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation this year.

“I have a niece who was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when she was 9 years old,” Murphy said. “She had to go through the symptoms at one of the hardest times: middle and high school. She still deals with it now, and she’s 26 years old. Even with the struggles of Crohn’s, she graduated from Auburn University and works for a large architecture firm as a commercial interior designer.”

The mission of the foundation is to find a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases.

Crohn’s disease is a rare condition that causes the lining of the digestive tract to become inflamed, which causes patients to have symptoms like abdominal pain, digestive problems and nausea. There currently isn’t a cure for this disease, but with more research being funded from charities and fundraisers, finding new methods of treatment may be possible.
The Chicago Marathon will be Oct. 13.

“It’s a 26.2-mile marathon, so we train about four times a week running,” Murphy said. “People may see our grimacing faces on Route 10 in the early morning before the sun comes up,” she joked. “We then work out at RC Health and Fitness. We do circuit training, ropes, bars and bells, and some much needed yoga.”

The women first met when they joined a running group at the Iron Bridge Baptist Church.

Becoming a support system to motivate each other has proven to be successful.

“We definitely motivate one another; we get through it one foot after the other,” Murphy said. “We think about the cause we are running for, and that helps. We have coaches out along the road; they give us words to motivate us, and a lot of the times, they’re struggling with the diseases that we are running to support,” Murphy said. “This race is nothing compared to what the patients go through every day.”

To donate to Murphy’s effort, go to

To reach Moody, call (804) 536-5776.