Marathon-running middle school teacher runs to honor fallen officers

Fallen San Antonio police Detective Benjamin Marconi killed in November

SAN ANTONIO – Gus Garcia Middle School teacher Elizabeth Reyes presented a "buckle" Thursday that she received after running a hundred-mile race over the weekend to her principal.

The running teacher said she runs to honor other people: 435 people to be exact.

Principal Daniel Pina said he knew Reyes was going to complete the race, but he didn't know she was running in his honor.

"I was just very humbled by it and honored to receive it because I see what her body goes through," Pina said. "She even helped me train for a 10K and ran with us. So, not only does she lead by example, she practices what she preaches."

Reyes calls herself a "joyrider" and runs for others.

After she crosses the finish line, she presents her finishers medal to the person she ran for.

"Their spirit fills me with energy and inspiration," said Reyes. "And, that's pretty much how I'm able to go mile after mile during these races and when I cross the finish line, when I get my finishers medal, it doesn't belong to me. Because without their spirit, I wouldn't have crossed it at all."

Although she gives her medals away, she keeps the race bibs as a reminder of the people behind those races.

"This one is for my sister (pointing at a race bib)," said Reyes. "This is for Dallas. This is for San Antonio. This is my current one for my hundred-mile race for my principal."

Elizabeth ran back-to-back marathons in San Antonio and then in Dallas in honor of SAPD Detective Benjamin Marconi and the Dallas officers killed in the line of duty.

This week she presented the Dallas finisher’s medal to the San Antonio Police Department.

"Being in a room with about 200 officers, being able to say thank you for the sacrifice that they made every day ... it was an honor," Reyes said.

About the Author:

Stephanie Serna is a weekday anchor on Good Morning San Antonio and GMSA at 9 a.m. She joined the KSAT 12 News team in November 2009 as a general assignments reporter.