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Utah woman runs Big Cottonwood Marathon in honor of son killed in Iraq

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - This anniversary of 9/11 is especially somber for one Utah woman.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - This anniversary of 9/11 is especially somber for one Utah woman.

Teota Coppock’s son, Brandon Parr, 25, was compelled to do something after the attacks and signed up for the military. But while on his second tour in Iraq, an IED took Brandon's life.
He left behind a wife, 4 year-old son and a devastated mom.

“I just went into a spiral downward and couldn't figure out how to get out of it,” said Coppock’s. “I at the time was 227 pounds, I couldn't get out of bed, I was living on anti-depressants.”

That's when a friend convinced Coppock to run the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. in honor of Brandon. With a lot of training, she crossed that finish line. But she didn't stop there. Coppock has completed 23 marathons in just two years.

“It turned everything around, rather than focusing on the loss, the tragedy, missing my son,” she said, “made it possible to focus on the good memories of being Brandon's mom.”

Now she’s about to add one more race to the list. This weekend Coppock will be among the 4,000 runners pounding the pavement in the Big Cottonwood Marathon and Half.

Like every race, Coppock will be thinking of her son and his sacrifice.

“There is a point in every marathon when you just say ‘I just don't have anything left’,” she said. “I just think with everything he was able to do in his life and everything he gave, I can cross a finish line.”
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