This story is the third part in a four-part series about our Halfsy Hero Susan Swearer. Our series will follow Susan and three other heroes as they train for the 2017 Good Life Halfsy.


Pirates are known to rob you without sentiment, but Susan has had enough of having things taken from her. She didn’t let her injuries from a 2015 accident put an end to her dreams, and she certainly isn’t going to let the pirate bugs that have been bullying Nebraskans this fall rob her of her triumph.

“I have been just completely attacked. I don’t like doing long runs on the treadmill, but I’ve continued training, and I’m still doing yoga and body flow classes. My arms are just covered in welts and bites, people are always shocked. I look like I’ve got the plague!”

Susan has a reason to go through with the Halfsy, even if her confidence is shaken.

“I spent this morning looking up the slowest pacer if that tells you anything about how fast I’m feeling. I’m nervous. I’m definitely slower since the accident, but I’m not sidelined.”

“Everyone has their reasons they run. For me, I’ve always enjoyed sports. After high school, after college, you can’t just join a field hockey or lacrosse team. There are no team sports, and I missed that. Running kind of recreated that for me. It’s social, it’s active. And the Halfsy is just a place for everyone. You’ve got Elite career runners, and then you have the recreational competitors. And then you have people with really specific reasons. For me, it’s just a way to close this door. To say that the saga of everything that happened since 2015 is just over.”

Susan has made a career of showing people how to overcome bullies and is running to bring awareness to the cause. She couldn’t let nagging pain, fear, or even tiny biting bugs push her out of the competition.

“I had these goals for running, this bucket list. One race every month. I was only 2 months into my goal when the accident happened. There’s just this element of needing to prove to myself that I’m really back. I just don’t want to let this be what defines me. I am going to finish, and it’s going to be such an honor to cross that finish line.”

That finish line is only days away, and thousands of people will have the opportunity to watch Susan step away from the injuries that threatened her dreams.

Check back for more Halfsy Hero stories, and to read the last installment of Susan’s story.