Running provides “me” time.
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Running provides “me” time.

Once again, Dead River Company is the official energy sponsor for the TD Beach to Beacon 10k Road Race. For the weeks leading up to the August 1st race, our blog will spotlight Dead River Company employees who are running. This year, the race benefits the Good Shepherd Food-Bank.

Is there a mother anywhere in the world who hasn’t craved just a little bit of “me” time? Jessica Gabbard, a senior real estate accountant in Dead River Company’s South Portland, Maine headquarters, says she finds her “me” time every time she puts on her running shoes—which she’ll do on August 1st, when she runs her second TD Beach to Beacon 10k Road Race.

“When I’m out running, it’s time alone where I can clear my head and appreciate my surroundings, be thankful for my family and my health. And I get a good workout at the same time, so it’s fantastic,” says Jessica.

Her health isn’t something she takes for granted. A sprinter on her high school track team, Jessica took up distance running in 2000. But that was after a long period of no running at all. She gradually had lost her energy and her interest in running—or any other exercise activity. Eventually, concerned by her condition, Jessica saw a doctor who immediately diagnosed her with Hashimoto’s disease. “It’s a condition where your immune system attacks your thyroid.” An underactive thyroid left her fatigued and weak. Treatment for the disease restored her energy and drive.

“My husband was in the Navy at the time and we were stationed in Puerto Rico. There I was with all this new energy and plenty of time on my hands, so I decided to start running again and get back in shape.” That was 15 years ago and she’s still running.

“I did have my son in 2009, and once again, running took a back seat to all the things associated with having a baby and raising a child,” added Jessica. But she was determined to get back to running. “It’s the best therapy session!”

With more than 6,000 people running in the B2B, Jessica won’t get much “alone” time during her 6.2 miles on the course, but the race’s target charity, the Good Shepherd Food-Bank, will still give her reason to reflect. “I look at my son and I think how lucky he is that he will always have the food he needs. I’m so proud of Dead River Company for all the help the company has given to Good Shepherd in the past and to be sponsoring this race.” Each member of the Dead River Company B2B team is asked to raise at least $200 for Good Shepherd Food-Bank. “I’ll be so proud to have that Dead River shirt on my back, knowing that I’m part of something really exciting and that we’re all helping this cause.”