JPS VP Takes “Going the Extra Mile” to Extremes

May 23rd, 2018

If it seems like JPS Vice President of Patient Care Trudy Sanders is always on the run, well… she nearly always is.

Trudy Sanders serves breakfast to RNs during Nurses Week


In addition to a demanding work schedule that keeps her metaphorically running from meeting to meeting, Sanders is running in the literal sense when she’s not on duty at the health network. She’s trained for and completed more than 100 marathons over the course of the past 22 years. She’s logged enough miles in the races she’s finished to cover a trip from Fort Worth to Los Angeles – and back.

“I started out cycling and I used to run in the wintertime when it was too cold to ride,” Sanders said of the modest beginnings of what has become an impressive history as a runner. “One year I just kept running and never looked back. When I started training for my first marathon, the farthest I had ever run at one time was about four miles.”

That’s less than one-sixth of the distance she would have to cover in a marathon’s 26.2 miles. Sanders was not deterred. Whether she’s at work at JPS or pounding the pavement on the street training for a race, Sanders said creating a plan, working hard and staying focused gets the job done.

After she completed her first marathon, Sanders still wasn’t set on the idea that preparing for the grueling races was how she wanted to spend her time. After crossing the finish line of that initial 26.2-mile run in 1996, she didn’t enter another marathon for three years.

“I was able to check running a marathon off my to-do list, and that’s how I felt about it,” Sanders said. “I got back into it because I was helping a friend to train for the Marine Corps Marathon and it seemed like it would be pretty neat to get to run in Washington, D.C.”

Running suddenly became more than a challenge or a way to stay fit. It became a way for Sanders to see the world. She initially set a goal of completing a marathon in all of the 50 United States -- and made it through most of them before shifting her attention to international competition. She’s completed marathons in Canada, England, France, Germany, Japan and New Zealand.

“Instead of going places I needed to go to just to check another state off my to-do list, I decided I was going to look for races in places I really wanted to see,” said Sanders.

While a 2014 race in Tokyo currently stands as Sanders’ most-recently completed marathon, she hasn’t exactly been taking it easy of late. She recently completed the Trans-Rockies run in Colorado which covers 58 miles over three days – along with 8,600 feet of elevation gain. It’s an exclusive race that only allows 50 solo entrants per year.

“That was a hard one to do,” Sanders said. “It was a lot of tough, uphill running in the mountains. And then you had to camp in a tent overnight.”

After running up the Rockies, a standard marathon almost sounds easy by comparison. Next on the agenda is a half-marathon Sanders will run as a warm-up in June and a full 26.2-miler later this summer in Washington state.

“I love to run,” Sanders said. “Even when I have to get up at 4 a.m. to get a run in before work. I’m glad that I am able to do it.”

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