This story is the second part in a four-part series about our Halfsy Hero Tonya O’Neel. Our series will follow Tonya and three other heroes as they train for the 2017 Good Life Halfsy.


A rut runs parallel to the road you wish you were on, keeping your desires in sight, but out of reach. Running helped Tonya build the strength to propel her life onto a road she wants to travel.

“I believe that everyone’s goal in life should be to become the best version of themselves.”

Tonya O’Neel’s personal motto is an easy thing to say when it involves a movie makeover montage and reading a self-help book. It’s harder to say when your lungs are screaming for breath as your aching body grinds out a few more miles after an eleven-hour work day.

As she mops the sweat off of her flushed face and soaks her sore, tired body before bed, she knows that her best self is standing behind that finish line, waiting to greet her.

Tonya’s ambition has far outgrown her comfort zone, and when she feels the pinch, she feeds it more. But there had to be a catalyst. A shift. Tonya’s came when she finally decided to leave her job.

“It was a good job, I was grateful for it. I was just at a point where I wasn’t happy. When I decided I wanted to change jobs, it wasn’t that easy. Changing your life just isn’t easy. But when I couldn’t find something else, that was when I started to run. Find something I could change.”

They say that you find love when you stop looking, and this was the truth for Tonya. After 5 years at her company, she found another goal worth working toward. Beginning in April of 2016, Tonya began training diligently. That was when a new position at a very competitive company became available. She began a grueling application and interview process, all while keeping her other goals balanced. In October of 2016, the job was hers.

Life is working hard for Tonya now, and she’s working hard to keep those goals in line. Her next vision: finishing the Good Life Halfsy in less than 2 and a half hours.

A new outlook on life, and a few miles a day are putting distance between Tonya and the rut she had found herself in. And as her legs keep propelling her life forward, there’s no telling where following her new goals will take her.

Check back for more Halfsy Heroes, and to read the next installment of Tonya’s story!