On any given day, Darlene Hess and her sweet White Labrador Scarlett can be seen walking, running or cycling (Scarlett stays at home for cycling days) on the streets of Dallas. Darlene grew up in an athletic family of runners and the love of fitness and activity stuck with her. Ron Hess, her brother, regularly wins marathons in North Texas. Darlene’s story is one of faith, exuberance and fitness and without them; she might not be the attractive and vibrant woman you see featured in the Zoom section of this newsletter.
The Trinity River Levee Run is also a story that shares her zest for life because this 10K race early in the spring of each year has seen its own challenges as it continues to grow and beckon runners to come down to the river. Its purpose is to promote fitness and to encourage interest in the river.
Darlene loves a challenge and that is why she is still running today and why she participated in the Trinity River Levee Run, “The 10K course is run on paved sections of roadway, gravel and natural surfaces – its partly a cross-country course, that is what I like about it,” said Darlene Hess.
On July 1, 2009, Darlene was supposed to leave for Colorado the next day. She was cycling on Mockingbird one mile from her home when she was hit by a car. The impatient driver was tailgating and blinded by the sun; he did not see her when he passed another vehicle. “Without my helmet, I would not be alive today; it’s that simple,” said Darlene. The accident left her with seven broken vertebrae in her back. She had one surgery and now has two titanium rods in her back and eight screws.
With the dedicated and loving help of her family and friends, in particular her mother, Darlene not only survived but she thrived! The recovery process seemed slow, but by fall and the Turkey Trot on November 25, 2009, Darlene was able to continue the family tradition and join the run. What a remarkable recovery and comeback.
Read more >