Houston : Houston CityCentre

Doan Pham

Most people know Doan Pham as a runner and are often surprised to learn that she has only been running for about 6 years. Born and raised in Vietnam (they immigrated by boat when she was 7 years old) and combined with being a sickly kid, she was never exposed or allowed to participate in any sports growing up. In her early thirties – when her first son was about a year and a half old – a girlfriend asked her to run a marathon. She not so politely reminded her friend that I had two left feet and had never run a mile in my entire life. Motivated to lose an extra 10 lbs. that she couldn't seem to shed after having her son, Doan agreed to start running with her but told her she wouldn’t run a marathon. As it goes, she ended up signing up and finishing the full marathon. She then took the next three years off and had two more babies. Exactly four weeks after her youngest was born , she put on her running shoes, ran six miles, and has not looked back since. Doan finished her 26th marathon in March of 2013, and in mid-April, she will be running her second Boston Marathon. Her goal is to run her 30th marathon on her 40th birthday (the Caymans Marathon on December 1, 2013). That will make 7 marathons in 2013! She and her husband celebrated their 10-year anniversary by running their first ever marathon together in Maui, where they honeymooned. “I guess I now have a habit of celebrating my big milestones by running a marathon,” says Doan. “Running helps take me to a happy place.”