It's Happening: Why Leigha Randolph Trippett and Company Ran a Marathon in Bridgeport

By Julie Perine on May 10, 2024 via

On March 3, Leigha Trippett took a run around town – a 26-plus mile run.
Running is part of her lifestyle, but generally she runs a few miles at a time. The reason for the full marathon length run had a trio of reasons behind it.
“It was a personal goal for myself and also I wanted to do it for awareness; to let people know the benefits of running – not only for physical health, but also for mental health,” she said. “I had a couple friends run with me which was very motivating.”
Jessica Elkins ran the duration with her and Nicky Stemple and Brenna Goodson joined for a portion of the mileage.
“We had a path through town. We ran about half of it through town and ended up doing the rest at City Park and the (BHS) track to get our mileage in,” Leigha said. “It’s pretty hilly around town, but it was fun. My friends and my kids ( 10-year-old AJ and 8-year-old Martina) joined us for some miles at the park and the track.”
It was a beautiful day featuring sunshine and blue skies which featured about five hours of running. It all started at 8:30 a.m.
“(Pastor) Kem Ramsey came and prayed with us, which was really neat,” Leigha said.
With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, the timing is right to share her experience. Life throws us all curve balls, Leigha said, and running is a good way to cope.
“I am a hippy runner, so I love nature. I love to hear the birds chirping and seeing people. I just feel good when I run,” she said. “I used to listen to music more, but now it’s more about mindfulness. When I run with other people, I enjoy talking.”
Keeping herself in good mental and physical health is good “mom therapy,” and carries over to being a good mom and a good counselor at Bridgeport High School and Bridgeport Middle School. In her work as a counselor, she often walks with her students while they talk and she encourages them to continue getting physical exercise.
She wants her kids at home and at school to learn healthy ways to cope with stress in their lives.
“It’s a strategy I wish I would have learned early-on. When I was their age, eating pizza and meatballs is how I coped with stress, and then life happens,” she said. “I want my kids to learn early-on how good physical activity is for you.”
Leigha said discovered her love for running about 15 years ago.
“I was big into group fitness and from there, my sister and I signed up for the Clarksburg 10K. I did that and I was hooked. I’ve been running ever since,” she said.
There’s a great opportunity coming up for others to maybe get hooked on running. And that brings us to Leigha’s third reason for the March 3 marathon around Bridgeport.
The Derek Hotsinpiller Fallen Stars 5K is June 8. That course will also take participants around Bridgeport, beginning and ending at Bridgeport City Park. The Hotsinpiller Foundation utilizes money raised to provide scholarships to those pursuing a law enforcement career and also to assist police personnel in various other ways.
Named for U.S. Marshal Derek Hotsinpiller and his dad, Bridgeport Policeman Jim Hotsinpiller, The Hotsinpiller Foundation’s mission is to support and assist law enforcement agencies, officers, and their families. It provides equipment and training for various agencies and their officers, both human and K-9. Providing a safer environment for law enforcement officers and assisting families of fallen and injured officers, as well as injured officers themselves, is all part of the outreach which began in 2011, shortly after Derek Hotsinpiller was killed in the line of duty.
“Derek and I graduated high school together – BHS class of 2005. He was a good friend. The amount of good the foundation does for police officers in our state is incredible and the scholarships they provide and the help they give officers who have battled in the line of duty are a wonderful tribute to Derek’s life,” Leigha said. “Plus, the 5K is just an amazing community run in Bridgeport.”
The Fallen Stars 5K (3.1 miles) is June 8. Start time is 8:30 a.m. To sign up and learn details, visit
For the first time, this year’s race will also include a Kids’ K. That’s where you’ll find Leigha, helping with that effort.
Leigha encourages local residents to take advantage of our city and its amenities and to pursue running as part of their lifestyle.
“I try to run three to four times a week, but it varies. I might run 30 minutes, but if I’ve had a stressful day maybe an hour. It’s also something I can plan around my kids’ activities,” she said. “Get out there. We are blessed to have good trails for running, biking or hiking. Physical activity is such a good outlet.”

Connect Bridgeport
© 2024