Woman runs marathon of love
Helene Neville is running a "marathon of love."
The 5-foot, 3-inch Havertown native is on the last leg of an almost 10,000-mile perimeter run around the country. For two legs of the run, she has carried an 18-pound urn with the ashes of her brother Anthony Quintal in her backpack.
"I'm bringing him home," said Neville, a nurse from Las Vegas.
At 11 a.m. Friday, Neville started the first 10-mile portion of a 26.2-mile marathon run from her family's old address on Hollis Road in Haverford. Once in Philadelphia, she ran across the Spring Garden bridge and up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps.
Even with the throng of holiday visitors, it was easy to spot Neville, who was dressed head-to-toe in a red, white and blue running outfit and hat.
Neville and her support crew said it will take her 389 flights up and down the stairs to complete the 16.2 miles she needs to complete the distance and break a record for the most steps run in one day. She expects to finish sometime around 9 p.m. Friday.
"She doesn't just run -- she goes all out," said her brother Randy Quintal, 54, who was there for the occasion.
Neville, who said she is a four-time cancer survivor, spread some of her brother's ashes at the home in their former neighborhood and at St. Francis de Sales School in University City, which was her mother's favorite charity.
She hopes to inspire others to "rethink the impossible," she said.
"Don't give up," Neville said.