At Philadelphia Marathon kickoff, Kim Pohas receives Mayor's High Five Award

Kim Pohas
Kim Pohas
Posted: November 17, 2012

At the kickoff ceremony for the Philadelphia Marathon Friday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Mayor Nutter introduced some runners who have participated in the 18 previous annual races and some younger runners with tales to tell.

Kim Pohas, a 28-year-old editor who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., was jogging in her neighborhood when her life took a dramatic turn in August 2011, she said.

"Out of nowhere, I saw a man walking a dog, and I instinctually tried to go around, but he dropped the leash and the dog whipped around and lunged forward," she said. "I looked down, and the bite mark looked like I had knee surgery."

She was taken to a hospital with leg and abdomen injuries. Police told her they couldn't find the dog's owner, who could have faced charges.

Two weeks later, Pohas could barely walk, and when she returned to the hospital to get the stitches out, she found out she had a potentially deadly drug-resistant staph infection.

She spent two weeks in the hospital and underwent five months of intensive physical therapy before deciding to get back into runner's shape and set a goal.

"I set the bar high - by preparing for the Philadelphia Marathon," Pohas said. Her goal for Sunday's race is 4 hours, 30 minutes.

Pohas was given the Mayor's High Five Award, which recognizes a runner whose "inspirational journey to the starting line is just as much a victory as crossing the finish."

"Kim Pohas exemplifies the ultimate spirit of the High Five Award," said Nutter. "Her courage, heart, and tenacity are inspiring. The High Five Award is an opportunity to celebrate her personal accomplishments and represents the true passion of many of our race participants."

"I'm running this marathon for myself and for the family and friends who have loved and supported me, helped me face my fears, and overcome my doubts," Pohas said. "Thank you, Philly."

The Boston University graduate who once worked in Los Angeles for Ryan Seacrest in "the nerd department," writing press releases, can write her own story Sunday.

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