There’s a meme making the rounds that goes, “How can you tell if someone’s run a marathon? Don’t worry, they will tell you.”
Lindsey Taylor has tackled several, but when she says so, she sounds more apologetic than braggadocios.
“I’ve only run 10,” she says.
As a teenager, she watched with some curiosity her father Paul Williams’ mounting marathoning mania.
“He wasn’t always a runner, but once he started, it was like, marathon after marathon. It was an obsession.”
Compared to her dad’s 77 marathon finishes — not to mention her husband Scott’s 85 and brother-in-law Frank’s 186 and counting — her 10 marathons feel like just a salty drop on a sodden sweatband.
As a college student, Lindsey finally showed some interest in the sport, telling her dad she wanted to run a half marathon.
“When he saw that I was serious, which he did not believe at first, he was so excited.”
Now when she finishes a race, it is typical for her father to run the final mile alongside her. (Though she is barely double-digits in marathons, she’s run more half-marathon and other distances than she can count.)
That Lindsey met and married Scott Taylor, who shared the same obsession as her father (Scott has run two ultramarathons in addition to his 85 full marathons), is an amusing coincidence, though not entirely happenstance. Dallas has a pretty robust running community, and when Lindsey was training for one of her early marathons with the Dallas Running Club, she and Scott became running partners. After one run at White Rock Lake, he asked her out. They went on a few dates, but things fizzled.
Then, one night before the Dallas Marathon, Lindsey’s dad invited her along to a pasta dinner at “Scotty T’s,” which was actually Scott’s house. There, Lindsey and Scott reconnected and fell in love.
The marathon madness runs strong throughout both sides of the family. Scott’s dad, Vance Taylor, not to be outdone, began running a few years ago and has knocked out nearly 30 marathons since. Frank Livaudais, who is married to Scott’s sister, will have 200 marathons checked off within the decade if all goes as planned; he is arguably to blame for infecting this family with the running bug.
In all seriousness, Lindsey says, this is a form of family bonding, if unusual, for which she is eternally grateful. “It is what our family does, and I love that. We also partly do it for those we love who can’t,” Lindsey says. “For example, Dad always runs with a photo of my aunt on his bib. She is fighting stage-four colon cancer and cannot physically do this kind of thing herself. One of the races we all did together was Carla’s Journey 5k, [which benefits those struggling with cancer].” Paul also serves as a mentor and unofficial coach not only to Lindsey but also to many newbie runners.
“He’s always getting texts from them, asking for advice. To countless young runners he is Coach Paul.”
Scott Taylor’s best marathon time is 3 hours 16 minutes. But since marrying and becoming a dad, he says, his times have not improved. “So worth it,” he adds quickly.
Little Caroline, the baby born to Scott and Lindsey in 2014, hardly stands a chance at stillness.
“Now I am looking for marathons that allow jogging strollers,” Scott says. “There have been some family arguments about who will push Caroline through her first marathon, but it has to be her dad, right?” —Christina Hughes Babb
“Dad always runs with a photo of my aunt on his bib. She is fighting stage-four colon cancer.”