Bonnie VanDeraa – True Life “Wonder Woman!”

Hello “Feel Good” Runners!

Well it is the middle of May and I am late getting out a fresh episode of Feel Good Running. There is a reason though! I was traveling!

The annual Bloomsday Run in Spokane, Washington was held on Sunday, May 5th and we were there at their two day expo promoting the Maui Marathon which by the way will be held on Sunday October 13th. This is an annual anticipated event in Spokane that is now in its 43rd year. This 12K run attracts 40,000 runners and walkers and is the 4th largest run in the USA. It was started in 1977 by Don Kardong and after all those years this will be his last as Race Director. I had a chance to do a quick interview with him and also some vendors and participants while at the expo.

And…yours truly ended up running Bloomsday this year and I will say this was one amazing event very well organized and super fun. It was a challenging but great course and I conquered “Doomsday Hill” in which you gain 120 feet of elevation in less than three quarters of a mile. Of course the after party held downtown Spokane was fun and I spent a little time in the beer tent. As for Spokane, the city is wonderful and the people are very friendly. I hope you will have the chance year to do this fine running event.

On Maui we have a missing woman. Her name is Amanda Eller and she is 35 years old and is a Physical Therapist and Yoga Instructor. She went for either a run or hike at the Makawao Forest Reserve on Wednesday May 8th and has not been found as of the release of this podcast. If by chance you are on Maui and have any information please call Detective Dennis Clifton at 808-244-6433. And you can contact her friend Sarah who is tracking all leads by either calling or texting. Her number is 415-336-4591. We are all hoping that she will be found alive and safe.

Ladies please take time to listen to Feel Good Running Podcast Episode #9. Tasha Ina Church is a Self Defense instructor and during our conversation there are many tips and suggestions for self defense and female running safety. She even has a on-line course. Worth a listen to give you a better chance to stay safe in uncomfortable or dangerous situations.

Sometimes, there is a story so inspiring that it will bring you to your knees. My guest this episode has this story and her name is Bonnie VanDeraa from Vinita Oklahoma. On January 23, 2018, Bonnie went through a horrific event that in a respect should have killed her. Her training and skill as a EMT along with her willpower, strength and courage allowed her to survive. Bonnie is a runner and though she has not been able to run since that day, she can walk and on March 3, 2019, walked the entire Little Rock Marathon.  After my conversation with Bonnie I have no doubt she will run again!

While recovering in the hospital, she was given the nickname “Wonder Woman” and believe me she lives up to that name! You do not want to miss this interview. It will change the way you approach your day and your life for that matter.

As always, thank you for listening to the Feel Good Running Podcast. I appreciate you. And your feedback is so welcome. You can click on the orange tab to the right and leave a voice message up to 3 minutes. Let us know how you like the show or tell us about your story or a running accomplishment. We may just include it in an upcoming episode.

And as always, I can always use your help by sharing the Podcast with your running friends and through Social Media. And also important is to leave a review on Apple Podcast! Reviews help to increase exposure for the show and attracts new listeners. Right now I do this Podcast out of love of running and have no sponsors nor form of monetization of this show. So, the more you can share it with others, it will be truly appreciated.

Enjoy Episode #12… And as always…remember to just show up and always, ALWAYS feel good about YOUR running!



Jim’s Opening & News Segment

Bloomsday RunSpokane, Washington – First Sunday in May

Doomsday Hill” – Toughest hill on the Bloomsday course!

Don Kardong – Bloomsday Run – Race Director – Article

Fleet Feet – Spokane, Washington – Owners: Wade and Julie Pannell – You can shop online!

Sweet Spot SkirtsMade in the USA – Email –Stephanie Lynn, Owner/Designer

Roast House Coffee – Spokane, Washington – Coffee Stores – You can order on-line and this is really darn good coffee!



Missing on Maui

Amanda Eller – 35 years old. Physical Therapist and Yoga Instructor. Last seen Wednesday May 8, 2019. May have gone for a run or hike in the Makawao Forest Reserve. Contact Detective Dennis Clifton at 808-244-6433 or her friend Sarah who is tracking all leads by calling or text at 415-336-4591.












Bonnie VanDeraa

Runners World Article – Real Life Wonder Woman! – Article by Jordan Smith

KARK NBC 4 – News Story – Little Rock, Arkansas – Price McKeon News Reporter

Fox News 23 StoryTulsa, Oklahoma

Bonnie’s Facebook Page – B’s Wonder Woman Page! – Poems that Bonnie has written as she goes through her recovery journey. Worth reading each one to feel her emotions.



Inspirational Running Quote

“Take Each Day 5-Minutes at a Time, Don’t Ever Give Up and Go Big or Go Home” – Bonnie VanDeraa

I personally look at my day different and now take 5-minutes at a time each day.


Thanks for listening. Be sure to subscribe to the Feel Good Running on Apple Podcasts and please give us a nice rating and if you feel really motivated leave a review!

The post FGR #12 | Bonnie VanDeraa – True Life “Wonder Woman!” appeared first on Feel Good Running Podcast.

About the Host, Jim Lynch

Thank you for listening to my podcast. I'm a long time "Feel Good" runner myself completing 101 Marathons and a certified 50 State finisher having completed a marathon in all 50 states plus DC.

I am the Race Director of the Maui Marathon and former Vice President of the Valley Isle Road Runners on the island of Maui, a certified RRCA Running Coach and now a recognized Podcaster!

Running is my passion and has really defined my life. With all the support over the years I have personally received from volunteers from all the races I have done, I would like to give back.

The "Feel Good Running" podcast is for the everyday runner. If you are a long time runner, fairly new to running or even just thinking about running, I hope to appeal to you and bring you inspiration and motivation with my guests and my many years of running experience. I hope to be one of your go to running podcasts for years to come.

If you like my podcast, please share it with your running friends and on your Social Media platforms. And a nice rating and review on Apple Podcast would be appreciated!

Thank you for listening and I hope you too will become a "Feel Good Runner" yourself! ~ Jim


  1. Christy VanDeraa on 05/16/2019 at 12:55 AM

    I’m Bonnie VanDeraa’s twin sister. I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to get to know Bonnie and not just the traumatic experience that’s changed her life. Most people are only interested in the bad, but you were interested in the big picture. Bonnie is so much more than just her trauma. She is amazing.

    • Jim Lynch on 05/16/2019 at 7:20 AM

      Thank you Christy…I find Bonnie just a wonderful amazing person and I was honored to get to know her and look forward to following all her accomplishments. She is a very strong person and her will and desire to push forward is truly an inspiration and hope others that listen will find the same. Thank you also for being there for her. Besides sisters, you seem to be best friends. Take care of her and please…don’t punch her 🙂

      • Christy on 05/20/2019 at 3:17 AM

        Naw, I promise I won’t punch her. LOL

        • Jim Lynch on 05/20/2019 at 7:04 AM

          Whew…That is good to know!

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