Dr. Patricia North: Born to Run

Dr. Patricia NorthDr. Patricia North practices what she preaches, both as a physician and a mom.

When she completed her first marathon in Chicago in October, her primary motivator was being an example to the people she most cares about: her two sons, Phillip and Clayton, and her patients.

“I was hoping to make an impression about the importance of a healthy lifestyle,” says North, 50, a native Ohioan who is board-certified in internal and geriatric medicine and has practiced on Hilton Head since 1996. She began running 10 years ago, she says, simply for the exercise benefits.

“I’m not a passionate runner. It’s more about healthy living,” North admits. “Doing a full marathon was on my bucket list.”

She built up her strength and endurance slowly over the past decade, bumping up her training distances and signing up for increasingly longer races. She chose Chicago for her first full marathon because of its flat course and proximity to family.

North credits training partner Carrie Hirsch, personal trainer Michelle Niles and husband Jeff for preparing her for the 26.2-mile challenge.

“The biggest question (during the race) is what happens after mile 20. It really becomes mind over matter to get to the finish line,” North says.

But she was thrilled with her finish time of 4:39.

“When it was over I was exhilarated. It was pretty overwhelming,” North says.