Thursday, October 13, 2011


The Columbus Marathon is this weekend. So is the Nike Women's Marathon out in San Francisco but this year I'll be staying on my home turf to coach the Columbus 1/2 and full marathon. Our local chapter of Team in Training has runners and walkers doing both races so the coaches divide and conquer. While I had an absolute blast coaching out in San Fran last year and lots of our local alumni are headed out for the race, I'm super excited to coach back in C-bus this year. These teams have raised buckets of money for blood cancer research and patient services and I cannot wait to share the total with week. :)

Our teams have been training for months, most of which were over the long, hot and humid summer but they toughed it out and made it! I'm so proud of all of them, especially when they all hit "The Big One." A couple weeks ago, we peaked out on the mileage and they are now tapering and resting up for race day. "The Big One" consisted of anywhere from 20 to 22 miles for the full marathoners and 10 to 12 miles for the 1/2 marathoners (I think I finished the day just shy of 13 miles). We lucked out and it ended up being a beautiful day. Lower humidity and temperatures were brought in just for "The Big One!"

Obviously I love Team in Training for all kinds of reasons but on this day, all of the reasons were wrapped up into one! Our amazing volunteers that help participants with their fundraising as well as some of the coaches and trainer all got together to hatch a plan to make the day of the longest mileage extra special.

The morning started off somewhat normal. Everyone gathered and we got started right around 8 am to go over announcements and the maps (it takes a little planning to make sure no one gets lost and gets in the correct distance). We headed out and the participants quickly realized it wasn't just a normal training day.

The volunteers pretty much painted the course purple and green! There were balloons everywhere. There were creepers amazing volunteers that came out to hide in the bushes take pictures as we walked and ran by. There were people cheering for us at the water stops! They had signs stuck in the ground to help motivate everyone to keep going.
Obviously this was my FAVORITE of all the signs:

Team hero, Parker and his family were out all morning with us. His aunts were running and his mom was helping with all of the decorations/snacks. That's Parker next to me with his brother , the "side hero!" One of my walkers, Mary Beth stopped long enough for a photo but she was at mile 10 already with 10 more to go!
There was a finish line for every single participant from the first to the last. This meant it was a 7+ hour day for many of the volunteers. I mean seriously, I am constantly amazed by the selfless people that I encounter just about every day through Team in Training. They inspire me to keep going. They inspire me to be a better person. They inspire me to stay involved so we can find a cure.

A lot of my walkers always worry that they are going to be last. And I always tell them they won't be last....because that's my job. The coaches are always at the end, making sure everyone succeeds and makes it to the finish line whether its in a race or at training.

Crossing the finish line with the other coaches and trainers.

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