Shirley Reilly hasn't been back to Barrow since early childhood, but she's been busy conquering the world of wheelchair racing. The 26-year-old Inupiaq now living in Tucson, Ariz., recently won the Boston Marathon and placed fourth in the London Marathon. As Alaska Dispatch reports, Reilly was born six weeks prematurely in Barrow, and her parents eventually moved her to California, where her medical problems could be better dealt with.
A junior in college who wants to work for the Department of Homeland Security, Reilly holds shares in Arctic Slope Regional Corp. ... Her mom returns to Barrow occasionally, and her brother, Kevin, is a whaler who recently helped land a bowhead with Barrow's ABC (Arnold Brower Crew) whaling crew.
"I haven't been back there since I was born, quite shameful to say," Shirley said. "I'd love to go back, say hello, see my hometown, and see my family."
For now, though, Reilly has her sights set on the London Olympics.