ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Lara Jacques, an Abilene native and an avid runner, used to participate in various competitions and ran track for Abilene High School. Thanks to her outstanding performance in the New York City Marathon, she has now secured a spot in the Boston Marathon.

Jacques now calls the Big Apple home and works as a teacher. She decided to lace up her running shoes to raise money for a charity that helps underprivileged students. She shared that she recognizes the numerous hurdles her students face, both inside and outside the classroom, so she decided to combine her love for teaching with her passion for running.

“This year, I raised money for a foundation called Children’s Aid. So Children’s Aid helps underprivileged and underserved children in New York City and provides services for them,” Jacques explained.

This is Jacques’ second year in the race. So far, she raised more than $4,000 and was thrilled to be able to run the New York City Marathon, not just as a personal achievement but as a way to represent Abilene and the children she teaches.

Her former coach, Rene Mcaden, shared that she met Jacques when she was a freshman.

“If memory serves me right, Lara was a sprinter in high school, so going from the shorter distance to the longest takes a different mindset. One thing that does carry over from high school track to training for a marathon is the training; no matter what the weather is outside, you practice,” Mcaden said.

Before the race, Mcaden shared that she was cheering for Jacques and knew she would do great.

“It is a true honor to get accepted into running the NYC marathon because I think you actually have to apply and be accepted to enter it. Lara will do great. She has inner willpower, which will get her through it… give her my love and best wishes,” Mcaden said.

Her mom, Lisa Miller, shared that she has competed in many races.

“She has run track in all levels of school and cross country… she was a cheerleader in all levels of school …. She graduated from Texas Tech with her masters in education,” Miller said. “But the NYC marathon is one of the top marathons, and it’s really hard to get in as an athlete… and yes, I will be there!”

Jacques completed her second NYC marathon on November 5. With the encouragement of her loved ones, she finished the 26.2-mile course in three hours and 30 minutes. Her achievement has earned her a spot in the Boston Marathon, which, according to her mom, is “the pinnacle of marathons among the runners.”