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'Everyone can be included in running:' Best friends prepare for Virginia Beach Shamrock half marathon

Best friends prepare for Virginia Beach Shamrock half marathon
Julia and Tyme 2
Julia and Tyme
Best friends prepare for Virginia Beach Shamrock half marathon
Best friends prepare for Virginia Beach Shamrock half marathon
Best friends prepare for Virginia Beach Shamrock half marathon
Posted at 7:05 AM, Mar 17, 2023

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Don't forget to wear your green because the Shamrock weekend is back at the Virginia Beach Oceantfront!

Runners from all 50 states and nine countries will be showing up to race, including Julia Prendergast and Tyme Fiedorczyk who are from Hampton Roads.

"Julia and I met at the Ability Center of Virginia in 2006," said Fiedorczyk.

The Ability Center helps people with disabilities lead happy, productive lives, like Fiedorczyk who has cerebral palsy and uses her iPad to communicate.

"We started just to hang out [and] I would invite her to my birthday parties," said Prendergast. "The rest was history, basically."

The pair spent so much time together that Prendergast was asked if she would become Fiedorczyk's aide.

"Without hesitation, I was just like, yeah, sure, why not?" said Prendergast.

"We like to go bowling, go for runs and swimming," said Fiedorczyk. "One year we ran the Ability Center 5K together and then, ever since then, we have been running races together."

Their love for running has taken them to races across the country. They've been to Disney, Richmond, and now Virginia Beach for the Shamrock half marathon.

"This year is our first Shamrock together, so I'm super stoked about that," said Prendergast.

Ashley Mieczkowski has also been inspired by Prendergast and Fiedorczyk to take on the race.

"I love the energy on race days! Everybody's just cheering for everybody. It doesn't matter where you come from, or who you know, everybody's just there supporting everybody," she said.

Inclusivity makes this weekend's race possible for two best friends.

"I do understand how we are inspiring and stuff, but I just never look at it like that. I think that's just because it's my life [and Tyme's my friend]," said Prendergast.

The races start on Saturday and go until Sunday.

The girls are also completing the Dolphin Challenge, which is the 8K on Saturday and then followed by the half marathon on Sunday.