Lady Ila Brandli
Mesa – Lady Ila Brandli of Mesa, Arizona passed Wednesday, June 23 with family and friends by her side at age 75. Ila was born on a cold Minnesota day. In 1953, she moved to Arizona with her family where she graduated high school from Tempe High. In 1969, Ila graduated from Arizona State University as a math major and worked for Weyerhaeuser until her retirement. During her retirement years, she was anything but retired. Worked as a volunteer doing taxes and as a real estate agent, but Ila’s truest passion was her running.
At 65, Ila began running marathons with encouragement from her friends. By the spring of 2020, she had achieved multiple records in U.S. Track and Field in her age group, in her multiple running groups, and completed 100 marathons in 365 revolving days. Ila’s passion took her all around the globe to complete the seven continents in seven days challenge. By April of 2021, Ila had completed 423 marathons, 362 half marathons, the distance virtual challenge of 150 miles, and Great Race across Tennessee virtual of 635 miles along with multiple other races. During her battle with cancer, Ila was also a member of a ten-person team completing a circumpolar relay race across the world with all continents completed (30,000-mile relay – virtual).
Ila had taken on the role of coach many times for new runners or for people who want to improve themselves. She ran multiple times with her nieces and great-nephews and continued to encourage everyone even when she was unable to run. As Ila said in an interview “Family is very important. It’s your support system; it’s your background… I’m looking at younger people as they progress in their life and seeing that they have. We each have a purpose, but no one knows what it’s for, and we develop our own purpose as we go.”
Ila is survived by her siblings: Roy, Leon, Marie, and Donna, her nieces and nephews & their families.
Published by The Arizona Republic from Jul. 2 to Jul. 11, 2021.