Intense heat not stopping mom from running 40 miles on her 40th birthday

KANSAS CITY, Mo. --- A Kansas City, Mo., mother is celebrating being over the hill by literally running over many hills. Cara Gilmore wanted to do something unique for her 40th birthday. The avid runner decided running 40 miles to mark her big day seemed right.

"I was on a run and I was thinking about my upcoming 40th birthday," Gilmore said, "and thinking about how I wanted to do something and this idea just popped in my head."

She wanted to do it for a cause and reached out to KC Mothers in Charge. This organization brings together mothers who've lost loved ones to violence.

"Fortunately, I’ve never lost anybody to homicide," Gilmore said, "but just thinking about all the people in our city that have just breaks my heart, and it’s kind of called me to this."

Cara's husband helped her map out the run taking her all over Kansas City. She pushed off at 7:30 a.m. and planned to run around five miles an hour at a 12:00 pace. She's run several marathons before and even competed in one ultra marathon longer than 26.2 miles.

"You get to a point where it becomes all mental. Your body hurts, I mean there’s no getting through it without feeling some pain, but the mental stamina that requires to push through is a lot."

The big concern: The intense heat. With temperatures expected to reach 99-degrees, many wondered if Cara might abandon her birthday plans. She never contemplated not doing it and said her body is prepared for it.

"My training began three months ago, and you just gradually build up your distance," Gilmore said. "I would purposely go out and run in the hottest part of the day during my training, and we’ve had a lot of hot weather already this year, so I’m ready. I’m okay."

She is running with several people from the community including Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker. Her friends are also following her in a car with water and food, and they plan to give her several mental evaluations throughout her run to make sure she is doing all right.

Gilmore plans to finish her run at the St. Elizabeth Parish at 2 E. 75th Street in the Waldo neighborhood around 3:30 p.m., eight hours after she started her long test of endurance.