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Runnin’ For A Reason

John Flynn has finished eight marathons in his running career, but when the San Marino resident toes the line for the 2018 Los Angeles Marathon on March 18 at Dodger Stadium, he will harbor an entirely different set of expectations.
First of all, Flynn will be running alongside his daughter Katherine, a 2012 graduate of San Marino High School and 2016 USC grad, who has only run half this distance in the past.
Secondly, well, he’ll just be happy to see his name on the manifest.
“Last fall, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and during the diagnosis and surgery, Katherine had an idea to take my mind off it all,” John Flynn said. “She challenged me to run the L.A. Marathon. I thought I was long-retired from running marathons, but how could I turn down the opportunity to run alongside Katherine during her first marathon? I couldn’t.”
Flynn told The Tribune he has no issues discussing this most private issue in public and wants to spread a message that may have saved his own life.
“Get tested,” Flynn said. “It’s a simple blood test. They were able to catch mine in its early stages and our doctors expect a complete recovery.”
It was those same doctors who agreed with Katherine’s idea that a return to running would be “good therapy.”
“Once they cleared me, there was no going back,” John said. “Being newly immersed in the medical world dealing with cancer, we decided to run the marathon for one of their official charity organizations, St. Jude Hospital, providing much-needed medical services to children. We enrolled as ‘St. Jude Heroes’ and spread the word among friends and family. We have had wonderful support from the community and are so thankful to all those who have donated to St. Jude on our behalf.”
John Flynn said that the father-daughter duo’s training has been abbreviated because of the late start date.
“But we are determined to complete the 26.2 miles,” he said. “We’re both about ready, having run 20 miles on February 17 with the Pasadena Pacers, an official training partner of the L.A. Marathon.”
Flynn’s San Marino friends, Dr. Steve Smith, Steve Domier and Dave McCarthy, direct and coach the Pacers.
“They make all the difference in getting across the finish line, regardless of your time,” Flynn said. “This will be my slowest race, but in this marathon I won’t be concerned about the clock as I’ll be running for much more important reasons.”
To sponsor Katherine and John Flynn in the 2018 Los Angeles Marathon, go to fundraising.stjude.org/site/TR/Heroes.

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