Best friends to share a race

Best friends Meg Kearney (left) and Meg Grant-Bradley pause before a training run in Media. Now 48, they have been friends since they were 3.
Best friends Meg Kearney (left) and Meg Grant-Bradley pause before a training run in Media. Now 48, they have been friends since they were 3. (TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer)

Both Megs, friends for life, are continuing their love of running.

Posted: April 27, 2013

Margaret Mary "Meg" Grant and Margaret Mary "Meg" Kearney have been best friends since age 3. Both Megs grew up on Park Street in Ridley Park, a few doors apart.

Meg Kearney is one of 11, Meg Grant the youngest of eight. They both had older brothers named William Francis who died young.

"We were there for each other through good and bad times," said Meg Grant. "I loved staying over her house when I knew my parents wouldn't let me out past 10 p.m. and the party ended at 12.

"This often meant sharing a twin bed."

They shared many things, including summers.

"We wreaked havoc on the Jersey Shore together," Meg Grant added, "waitressing, bathing in baby oil, and dancing until wee hours."

They remain BFFs today at age 48.

Meg Kearney always exercised, but only to stay fit so she could attract cute guys. Meg Grant hated - repeat, hated - to sweat.

In 2002, Meg Grant's boss signed her up to run the Dublin Marathon for charity. Meg Kearney thought, whose boss does that? And there's no way her friend could make it.

"How can she muster up the motivation and commitment to complete 26.2 miles when she doesn't even own a pair of sneakers?" Meg Kearney said.

"I was a single parent at the time," said Meg Grant, "so it required my family to come to my house at 6 a.m. I purchased a treadmill and got sitters for the long runs on the weekends. It was not easy, but it was the first time in my life that I realized people can change."

Meg Kearney was inspired by her best friend.

The Megs have been running together ever since.

Meg Grant lives in Broomall and Meg Kearney in Media, and they meet at 6:15 a.m. on State Street in Media three or four mornings a week.

"We run," said Meg Grant, "in rain, snow, wind, hail and freezing conditions - sometimes in our pajamas. We laugh about looking more like robbers than runners."

"What is said on the run stays on the run," says Meg Kearney, a health care consultant.

"I owe her the cost of a good therapist," says Meg Grant, director of public affairs and marketing for Keystone First, the former Keystone Mercy Health Plan.

They often run in matching T-shirts that say, simply, "Meg."

Meg and Meg will line up side by side for their fourth Broad Street Run together. They have run many races now, but this event, sponsored by Independence Blue Cross, is their favorite, their hometown race.

"When I started running and meeting other runners," said Meg Kearney, "there was one question asked by 'more serious' runners: Are you running Broad Street? To me, answering yes to that meant transitioning into a higher level of running. It meant progress. It meant cool."

If all goes well, Meg and Meg will finish the race as they start it, as they've gone through life - side by side.

Of the Boston Marathon tragedy, Meg Kearney said: "I feel sad, heartbroken about what happened. I am concerned about the Broad Street Run. Not incredibly." But she added: "My family usually comes and sees me at all distance runs, and they're not this time because of Boston."

Meg Grant added: "I am surprised at how emotional we have been about it. I can't stop thinking about the joy and satisfaction the racer experiences at the finish line of any great race, and to have it end with such trauma and tragedy ... no words."


See more at www.inquirer.com/health_science and www.philly.com/broadstreetrun

Contact Michael Vitez at 215-854-5639 or mvitez@phillynews.com. On Twitter @michaelvitez

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