ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Ann Hager is an avid runner with nine full marathons under her belt. To celebrate her 60th birthday in July, she decided to run one more and make it an even ten. Hager is dedicating the run to her brother Charles, a well-known Albuquerque runner who ran marathons all around the world until an injury forced him to the sidelines.

Ann and Charles share seven other siblings and they also share what some would consider a secret but not for Ann. “I grew up being afraid of everything, and fear was my biggest anxiety, and as my faith just got stronger over the years, I’d run and pray and ask God to put in my heart calmness,” said Hager.

Story continues below



For her whole life, Hager has suffered from anxiety. On her wedding day, she found herself shaking at the altar. “That’s an awful feeling when you’re in front of people and your whole body is shaking, and you feel like something bad is happening like you’re going to die,” said Hager.

She doesn’t want anyone else to go through that alone. So now, she’s partnered with Breaking the Silence New Mexico, which does outreach in schools and fights the stigma of this widespread mental health issue. “But I’ll seriously say no, I battle with anxiety, and I want to share that with people because it is a serious issue, and if you can embrace it, and talk about it, it just makes it all that much better,” said Hager.

She’ll be running on faith and toward others who need help. “It’s amazing how God put all this on my heart, because it just feels so good and so right, and me as being a person of being afraid of everything when I was younger, now I just feel bold and strong,” said Hager.

Hager is plotting her own course through the metro for her marathon July 23. All the money raised will go to Breaking the Silence New Mexico.