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Thanks for visiting the Women’s Running Cover Model Contest!

Voting is now closed.

The winner will be announced online on July 9

-and you can look for her on the cover of our September issue!

After combing through nearly 2,000 inspiring submissions, we've chosen nine finalists to represent Women's Running readers everywhere on our September issue cover. Who do you want to see on the cover? Click on the cover-model candidates' photos to learn about our finalists. Then, click below to vote for your favorite runner. To ensure that the cover model contest winner is truly the choice of our collective audience, voting is limited to one vote per person per day. Voting ends July 2 at 12 pm PST.
 

Anna G.

Indianapolis, IN

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Cheri A.

Raleigh, NC

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Lindsey H.

Indianapolis, IN

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Megan W.

Norwich, CT

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Anna G.

Indianapolis, IN

Anna is a third-year medical student at Indiana University School of Medicine who just ran her first half marathon.

Occupation:
Medical student

Three words that describe her:
Perseverant, compassionate and goofy!

Anna's "find your strong" moment:
I signed up for my first half marathon amidst studying for my first medical licensing exam. The race was a month out and I had never raced longer than a 5k, but I wanted an equally challenging physical goal to complement the mental stamina I would need to prepare for the exam. I read a Women's Running Twitter inspiration post stating, "If you train your mind for running, everything else will be easy." I made that quote my running mantra. I would repeat it over and over in my head while pushing through my first long runs. Once I got comfortable running longer than eight miles, I found myself more confident not only in my running ability but also when taking practice tests.

Eventually, it was time for the race. Though the last three miles were grueling, the whole experience was amazing. I crossed the finish line with this huge sense of accomplishment. I was so happy to look back on the weeks of training and conclude 13.1 miles later.

I carried that empowering feeling two weeks later when it was time for the big exam. Admittedly, I was a bit nervous, and at times the exam itself felt like an eternity. But I remembered the race and my running mantra and powered through. If I can run for two hours, I feel I can do anything!

Cheri A.

Raleigh, NC

After one obstacle race, Cheri fell in love with running and has completed a grand total of two marathons and two halfs. She loves all things pop culture and is not ashamed of the Bieber, Miley and Demi Lovato on her running playlist.

Occupation:
Zumba instructor/fitness blogger

Three words that describe her:
Creative, random and fit!

Cheri's "find your strong" moment:
My moment came after I lost my grandmother last year. It felt like my life had been thrown into complete upheaval. I felt anxious, depressed and incredibly sad.

On some days, the last thing I wanted to do was run.

In the six months since she has passed, I've made a breakthrough by continuing to run, running on trails and pushing through the wall that my grandmother's death put up for me.

I still struggle with anxiety, it's kind of a day-to-day thing-but I know I accomplished an emotional breakthrough by continuing to run through the pain.

Lindsey H.

Indianapolis, IN

Lindsey is a mother of one who has run 13 marathons and finished her first half Ironman the day after making the tough decision to schedule a prophylactic double mastectomy.

Occupation:
Media director/running coach

Three words that describe her:
Outgoing, compassionate and tough!

Lindsey’s “find your strong” moment:
Last year, I found I have the BRCA2 gene mutation, putting me at an 86 percent chance of getting breast cancer over the course of my lifetime.

I was training for my first half Ironman when I found out and made the decision to have a prophylactic double mastectomy.

At 30, I immediately had to get a mammogram and MRI before scheduling my surgery. I found out the results of my MRI were good the day before my race, in July and scheduled my surgery for October.

As I competed that day, I felt strong, courageous and determined. When I got to the run course (my favorite leg of course), I told myself, “This is your time. This is what you are good at. Run these people down and be grateful that you are out here doing what you love.”

Finding your strong oftentimes means being courageous, doing things you never thought you could and once you do those things, believing in what's next.

Megan W.

Norwich, CT

Megan is a competitive runner, teacher at the Norwich Free Academy and spin instructor aspiring to qualify for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

Occupation:
Special education teacher

Three words that describe her:
Competitive, compassionate and dedicated!

Megan's "find your strong" moment:
I began my day for about three years with either an easy run or a tough workout. There are few things I have found in life that give me the quiet peace running does. There is something special about sorting out your thoughts to the sound of your own feet pounding the pavement, your heart beating as you tick away the miles.

A stubborn hip and hamstring injury has kept me off the road since January, and has left a void that has not yet been filled. To the average person, my words probably sound dramatic. I understand many people would embrace, and possibly welcome, a break from exercise. Running means so much more to me than just "exercise " or a way to burn calories! I'm currently working on getting back to running and making it to the Olympic Marathon Trials by running a 2:43 or faster within the year.

Nicole C.

Lake St. Louis, MO

Nicole is a single, full-time working mom of two who lost 70 pounds through running. She hopes to inspire her children (and everyone else!) to promote a healthy, fit lifestyle.

Occupation:
Pharmacist

Three words that describe her:
Determined, confident and driven!

Nicole's "find your strong" moment:
I spent most of my adult life overweight. I was over 200 pounds at my heaviest. One day in 2009, I decided that was not going to be my life any longer. I started walking every day until I turned myself into a runner. In one year, I lost 75 pounds through hard work and sweat.

My true "find your strong" moment was running my first half marathon. At the time, I only ran solo. I was terrified of the prospect of racing, but was finally convinced to register.

That was a life-changing event for me. I knew I could run 13.1 miles. I had already completed the distance in my weekly long runs, but to race with crowds and unfamiliar routes was foreign to me. However, I trained hard, fitting in more miles into my schedule as a working single mom via 4 a.m alarms.

When race day arrived, I got myself to that starting line and ran my first half marathon with the determination that I AM strong...much stronger than I think. With a projected finish time of two hours, I crossed the finish line at 1:50. I will never forget the feeling of putting that finishers medal around my neck.

Rachel B.

Clovis, NM

Rachel is an Air Force veteran and mother, committed to living a healthy and happy lifestyle.

Hometown:
Clovis, NM

Occupation: Full-time mom and Air Force Ready Reservist

Occupation:
Full-time mom and Air Force Ready Reservist

Three words that describe her:
Dedicated, determined and enthusiastic!

Rachel’s "find your strong" moment:
I didn't think the word "strong" applied to me until I participated in the military heavy division of the Bataan Memorial Death March Marathon. The race covered 26.2 miles in full military battle dress uniform while carrying a rucksack with about 40 pounds of weight.

I wasn't nearly prepared enough, but I was determined to see the marathon through, especially after I had the opportunity to shake hands with actual Bataan Death March survivors. Their courageous story put my discomfort in proper perspective and sustained me during my own physical challenge in honor of their sacrifice.

Toward the end of the race, my feet were covered in blisters, my hips ached from the weight of my ruck, and my endurance was waning from the previous miles uphill in sand, but with the help of my teammates I pushed through the pain and the fatigue to victoriously cross the finish line. I was utterly spent and just about cried from relief as I peeled off my rucksack and received my finisher medal. Nonetheless, I’ve never felt more elated! That day, I found my strong and discovered I can indeed achieve great things.

Rochelle M.

Moorpark, CA

Rochelle is an alcoholic turned marathoner and Ironman finisher.

Occupation:
Personal trainer and dance instructor

Three words that describe her:
Determined, outgoing and brave!

Rochelle’s “find your strong” moment:
My most challenging moment was going out to race my first Ironman triathlon at 10 months sober.

I had to dig deep and remind myself about how far I had come. I knew that when I crossed that finish line my life would change forever.

I pushed harder then I ever have and became the athlete I always wanted to be. As a recovered alcoholic, this was a challenge I was not going to fail. That race saved my life and fitness continues to everyday.

Sarah C.

Rochester, NH

Sarah is a wife, mother, runner and defeater of bulimia living in the northeast with her husband and two children.

Occupation:
Full-time mom

Three words that describe her:
Relentless, compassionate and dedicated!

Sarah’s “find your strong” moment:
In September 2012 our son, Jack, was born with a congenital birth defect. Undetected by ultrasound, we were shocked to find out there was something "wrong" and that he would have to endure two surgeries to correct it. Everything seemed so impossible and so overwhelming.

We were referred to a surgeon at the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD). Once we started receiving care I knew I had to participate in their major fundraising event: the CHaD HERO Half Marathon. I made it my goal to raise $5,000 and finish in the top five women. Based on past race results I knew I'd need to run a 1:35 in order to do so, but my best half marathon time was 1:45. I spent the summer training like never before, fueled by the emotion and anxiety of everything that Jack went through.

When race day came, not long after Jack's first birthday, I felt confident that I could run at least a 1:35—but I went out too fast. By mile eight I was walking, deflated and disappointed.

In those walking moments during the race I thought back to when they first placed Jack in my arms—the immense love I felt for him and then the heartbreak of finding out something was wrong. I recalled the intense fear when he suddenly developed a staph infection after his second surgery. It was in that moment, when I wanted to quit the race, walk off the course and call it a day that I found my strong, because the truth is I had already found my strong in those moments with Jack when the fear and anxiety felt so BIG I thought I would crumble.

I pushed myself up the hill and through the next four miles of the race my quads were shot and I was sapped of all energy. I finished in 1:41 and in 21st place. Not the goal I had trained for, but that race was MORE than just a race to me: it was the culmination of the most difficult circumstances I have ever had to face. That race for me, was the finish line. Regardless of my time or place it marked the end of a very difficult year, a year where I found my strong.

Theresa W.

Clearwater, FL

Theresa is just a few weeks away from turning 50. She is a married, mother of four, grandmother to one gorgeous boy.

Occupation:
Citizen Soldier

Three words that describe her:
Strong, intense and motivational!

Theresa’s “find your strong” moment:
Fitness has been a large part of my life, but it really hit home when my mother became seriously ill with emphysema. When I returned home to care for her, I used running to mentally balance my life away from my own family and also to be able to deal with all the challenges of caring for an aging parent.

My mom passed in early 2005, and not even a month later, I received notice I was being recalled to Active Duty and possibly deployed. Once again, I ran and then added lifting to build my strength. I wanted to be strong as a leader of Soldiers.

Those two events were transformational. I have found a passion in fitness and helping others to find this joy. I recently completed the Army Master Fitness Trainer Course and, as I turn 50 in 2014, I am challenging myself on a monthly basis to train and remain a healthy runner. I want to be doing this for many years to come.


Nicole C.

Lake St. Louis, MO

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Rachel B.

Clovis, NM

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Rochelle M.

Moorpark, CA

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Sarah C.

Rochester, NH

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Theresa W.

Clearwater, FL

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Thanks for visiting the Women's Running Cover Model Contest!

Voting is now closed.


The winner will be announced online on July 9

-and you can look for her on the cover of our September issue!