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Draper Journal

Corner Canyon ‘lunch lady’ heads to Tokyo for her sixth and final marathon major

Feb 29, 2024 01:59PM ● By Katherine Weinstein

From left to right, Jennifer Sherwood, Kaaryn Child, Kristen Andersen, Shauna Boyd and Mark Sherwood, posed for a photo at the New York City Marathon in November 2021. (Photo courtesy of Shauna Boyd)

Shauna Boyd wears many different hats. She runs her own dog training and pet sitting business, Pawsibilities Unleashed, and also works part time as a cashier in the cafeteria at Corner Canyon High School. Since 2012, the Draper mom has also run marathons all over the world, often accompanied by her extended family. Through her running, she has helped to raise thousands of dollars for charity. This month she will travel to Japan for the Tokyo Marathon, her sixth and final marathon major.

“My dad is the one who started it all,” Boyd said. “I ran my first half-marathon with my dad in sixth grade.” 

Boyd’s father, Doug Perry, said that he took up running years ago to get in shape. It soon became an activity for the whole family. “It was something we always did together,” he said. “All four kids, it was just great fun.” The family often did community fun runs and “turkey trots” together. 

Growing up in Englewood, Colorado, Boyd started a running club at her high school and made the varsity team. “She was the No. 1 runner in her school. She really excelled at it and just kept at it,” Perry said. Running continued to be a major part of Boyd’s life as she married, had two sons and moved to Utah for her husband’s work. 

In 2006, Boyd’s mother, Julie, and her father ran the New York City Marathon, making it to the finish line even though Julie was undergoing chemotherapy for cancer at the time. Boyd’s mother passed away in 2010. In 2018, the family ran the NYC Marathon together as a remembrance of her. “After that, we decided to run six world majors together,” Perry said. “This year, Shauna and I are finishing our sixth.” 

The world majors consist of marathons in six cities: New York, Chicago, Boston, Berlin, London and Tokyo. “Boston is the only one that you have to qualify for,” Boyd explained. Runners in the other marathons are chosen by lottery, or, in some cases, “you have the opportunity to run for charity,” she said. “Whoever sponsors the race has a list of charities you can raise money for.” 

For this month’s marathon major in Tokyo, Boyd is raising money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. In Chicago, the family raised funds for Mercy Homes. The charity that they have worked with most closely over the years is Shoe4Africa. Twenty-five years ago, Perry started his own nonprofit and partnered with Shoe4Africa to help build the first children’s hospital in sub-Saharan Africa. 

“We wanted to build a cancer hospital for children and just finally broke ground on it three weeks ago,” Perry said. “It’s named after Shauna’s mom. It’s been a great family project we’ve all contributed to.”

“My dad and I are a lot alike,” Boyd said. “We like to have a goal. We’re both kind of, ‘go big or go home.’ We choose things to do because they look hard and ask ourselves, ‘what am I capable of?’”

In addition to running marathons, Boyd has also participated in ultramarathons. In 2021, she took second place out of 45 runners in a 100-mile ultramarathon in Michigan. Starting that year, Boyd started running in a Wonder Woman costume.

“I saw an 81-year-old man in Nevada running a 100-mile race,” she said. “He wore a cool costume—it made everyone smile.” 

Boyd spoke of how much she enjoys participating in the big races. “The New York City Marathon was the best,” she said. “It takes you through all five boroughs. It feels like the entire city is lining the streets. It’s really motivating because there are people cheering along the way.” 

“My family has these incredible memories to share,” she added. “I have some amazing supporters, that's for sure! My sister, my dad, and my stepmom have been at every one of my big races, either cheering me on or running with me.”

In preparation for her upcoming marathon in Tokyo, Boyd is at the gym most days at 6 a.m. “I run four days a week, cross-train once a week, take two days off,” she said. “I do three to four days of strength training.” She works with an online coach to plan her workouts. “I don’t want to over-train and get injured,” Boyd said.

“People might think, ‘I could never do that,’” she said. “But I think people can do anything with the right mindset and the right training.” λ