Bernadette Lathrop started running half-marathons over three years ago to keep up with her husband Jim Lathrop '63, who was competing in marathons.
Name: Bernadette (Dufour) Lathrop
Year of Scecina graduation: 1964
Degree: History/Political Science, Indiana University, 1997
Current Position: Retired, former co-owner of Dufour's in Irvington
By Bernadette Lathrop
From running a restaurant to running half-marathons across the country … that seems like a lot of coming and going! They were both very big steps to take. When I was a young woman, I had a long, lingering thought down deep to have a restaurant. But it was just a thought. Actually, I also had another lingering in that deep spot, which was to go to law school. My move back home to the Irvington neighborhood in Indianapolis after many years away held a plan unknown to me at that time. The plan, only Providence knew, was that Jill Lashbrook and the antique mall by Jack and Jill in Irvington would become something else. And I would begin a new journey.
My sister Maria and I made a decision to start a small coffee shop in the antique mall. The initial response was so welcoming. It was way beyond anything we could imagine. The corner of Washington Street and Audubon in Irvington got a new landlord and the birthing of our own Dufour’s in Irvington was accomplished.
We saw the good, the bad, the ugly in those early years. Irvington had devolved since we were kids roaming Washington Street between Audubon Road and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. But we took a chance, and we succeeded. My daily mantra was: God will provide. Almost 20 years later, Dufour’s in Irvington clearly had left its mark. It started something in Irvington that continues today as the community has been revived by new businesses and restaurants and new residents,
The decision to exit the restaurant business was difficult. Leaving on a high note was the final goal. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, in person, presented us with a city proclamation and declarations on our closing day in January 2016. That adventure truly was built on faith. I had made the transition rather slowly once I “retired from and sold” the restaurant to Maria. I had just remarried. Jim Lathrop ‘63 was a marathon runner. He encouraged me to turn my energy toward a new goal. I ran my first Indianapolis Mini in 2011 at age 65. Thought I could do better, so I ran the Mini again in 2012.
About this time Jim and I were traveling to his various races, for he had made the decision to do a marathon in all 50 states. Jim always would designate a spot for me to be “by that tree” or “by that statue” so we could connect at the end of his race. Then I could be there with whatever he may have needed after the race. Well, I just was not good at staying “by the tree” or “by that statue” as directed. I wanted to see him cross the finish line. After “missing my mark” a couple of times and “getting into trouble,” I said, “What the heck? I have been training for half-marathons. I will just register and do the half marathon while he does his full. That way I should, without a doubt, be at the end when he finishes!” That is my story and I am sticking to it.
As of 2016, 3 ½ years later and at 70 years, I have completed 31 half-marathons in 29 states. I have found that faith has only become deeper as I have been given the years to experience all facets of life.
Scecina was a faith builder in my younger years. Some super sisters and priests gave us a new perspective on life and faith. (After all, it was HIGH SCHOOL!) The fact that our parents wanted all 10 of us to go to Catholic schools from grade school though college only aided in the exposure. My years at Scecina are extremely fond ones. I met and still cross paths with classmates who are the best, faith-filled Christians I know. Since Jim and I have married, that circle of Crusaders has broadened and I have renewed past acquaintances. I understand, oh so well now, how quietly the seeds of faith can be sowed when we are young and that God does provide.
Posted on Tue, October 4, 2016
by Beth Murphy filed under