Photo by Sarah Coppola for Tamara Lackey Photography

Forty-three-year-old Melinda Squires is a Senior Corporate Budget Analyst for the City of Durham. While she has been dabbling with running since her late twenties, she became a serious runner two years ago after she lost 100 pounds. “I had always admired long distance runners and dreamed of one day participating in organized races,” says Squires. “That dream became a reality in 2012 when I completed many 5Ks, 10Ks, 10 milers and my very first half marathon in 2013, the Bull City Race Fest & Food Truck Rodeo.

The most memorable experience Squires has had as a runner was the day she discovered she has the ability within herself to accomplish anything that she set her mind to. “I was running with a lady at Duke Forest and our running goal was six miles and when we completed six miles, I looked at her and said, ‘I can do more’ and we continued and knocked out 10 miles.”

Squires says that running is her main exercise in order to maintain a good level of fitness, manage stress levels and provide balance into her life. “When I don’t run, my life seems off balance. Running has provided so many positive results in my life and sometimes it’s hard to put it all into words. I’m a better person because of running: I think better, I feel better, I look better, my health is better (mentally and physically); running has affected my whole being for the better.”

What Squires has to say about the Tar Heel 10 Miler: “The Tar Heel 10 Miler is just an overall cool race from beginning to end. It is well organized, the course is beautiful and challenging to say the least with the Laurel Hill challenge. The Tar Heel 10 miler is definitely on my annual to-do list!”

For more information about the Tarheel 10 Miler, visit