Wednesday, January 27, 2010

All About Family by Jim Osterman

For Sasha Buzzetta it is all about family.

A few years ago her whole family – parents and their grown kids -- left upstate New York to move to Atlanta. This March she will be doing the ING Georgia Marathon – her first Team In Training event.

She is doing it in honor of her brother Phillip, who underwent treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma last year, and her Uncle Anthony, who recently lost his fight with colon cancer.

“There has been so much cancer in my family sometimes it has felt like there was nothing we could do,” she said.

She connected with TNT when she was approached about donating a massage -- she owns Ananda Massage in Buckhead – as a raffle prize for another TNT runner’s fundraiser. The more she heard about the program, and the work of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the more she saw an opportunity to do something about her family’s fight against cancer.

“There is a lot of it in our family history,” she said. “This is something I can do to make a difference.”

And while she is new to endurance-event training, her grounding as a licensed massage therapist has been an unexpected asset. She had been interested in the discipline since high school, attracted by the notion that mind, body and spirit needed to be in balance.

But it wasn’t until a couple of years ago when, like so many others in the corporate world, she was laid off that she rekindled her interest.

“I was looking for jobs like the one I had been laid off from and I didn’t feel good physically,” she said. “Then I had a dream of building a wellness center and wrote that down. The next day I saw an ad for massage schools and started looking into it. And I started feeling better.”

And one of the chance benefits of her new path was connecting to Team In Training, and much like the family move from New York several years ago, expect to see a passionate army of Buzzettas on ING event day.

“Everyone is so excited about this,” she said.

While the war with cancer is best joined using medicine and science, Sasha and the Buzzetta family remind us never to underestimate the restorative potential of a family’s love.

Want to support Sasha on the course of the ING Georgia Marathon? Come out and volunteer at the Team In Training water stop at mile 5. Call the TNT office, (404) 720-7842.

About the author, Jim Osterman and his wife, Carol, have been a part of the Team In Training family for years now. You can join him on the 2010 Rock 'n' Roll San Diego TEAM.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hear My Footsteps by Tricia Hernandez

So, I have been thinking... I often do around New Year's about the year that has just passed and those before. I have been doing most of this thinking during my training runs in this freezing, damp weather. I know it is hard to take the plunge into a cold day for a heart pounding, even exhausting run or walk. But, we each do it for whatever reason drove us to Team In Training.
My partner of 19 years, Kelley, and I just celebrated our third Christmas with our beautiful son, Connor. I was entertained and awed by his level of excitement this year. When I asked him what he liked best about Christmas, he said "our tree". A tree he helped decorate for two hours and took great pride in. We all have these wonderful memories with family and friends this time of year.

As I thought about this during a training run the other night, tears came to my eyes. When I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 2002, I wasn't sure I would ever be celebrating Christmas with my three year old child. I realized what a gift it was to enjoy each moment with him, my family, my friends, and you.

I think about all of you as I run too. When I was training for Marine Corps last summer; my team was an important key to my success. Whether they were running beside me or waiting for me at the finish. I never felt alone. It's exactly the kind of support that not only let me survive cancer, but let me thrive enough to be running with you now.
I watched the link that Jenn sent to us about Ethan, from Survivor. It showed that he just got a call about his cancer in remission. I remember that moment vividly as I do the moment I was diagnosed. I was sitting in a room waiting to be called for my radiation treatment after seven long months of chemotherapy and radiation when the physician called me to his office. After reviewing my PET scan, the treatment was no longer necessary. I was in remission. I didn't have cancer anymore. That was six years ago.

It is because of every step you take that I survive; that others survive-your friends, your family members, your coworkers-whoever brought you to Team In Training. Please know that I am right there with you, thanking you, thrilled that you are taking every step.

Hear my footsteps next to yours when you can hardly pick up your feet. Hear my footsteps next to yours when you take that first step into the cold. Hear my footsteps next to you each time you have a doubt...You are my hero.

Tricia Hernandez is the Honored Hero for the 2010 Country Music Marathon & 1/2 Marathon TEAM. In the photo above, that's Tricia in the middle at the 2009 Marine Corps Marathon along with fellow alumnus, Elizabeth Lester and TNT coach, Barb Stinson.

Monday, January 25, 2010

An Alumni Challenge by Lori Rasmussen

I've heard a few alumni saying, "If it weren't for the fundraising, I'd train for Team In Training events year 'round." I've had the same thoughts. My experiences with TNT have been so personally rewarding that sometimes it's easy to lose sight of the mission-to raise money and find a cure for blood cancers. Thanks to TNT, I am in the best shape of my life! I have a huge circle of new friends, and I never lack for something fun to do. This adventure started as a way for me to get in shape. Oh, and also to raise a little money to do some good. Yes, my goals really were that vague (and self-serving). After my first event, I thought, "No more fundraising for me. I will just keep running on my own." Then, about a year later, there was a great alumni deal for the San Antonio Rock and Roll Half-Marathon. I signed up and had another great event weekend. After that, I thought, "OK, once a year is reasonable for fundraising."

As I continued to train and raise money, I met some amazing people who have had blood cancer crash their lives; a friend's infant niece, a mother whose teenaged son battled this illness, a neighbor who had it in college, and a young woman who is a survivor and runs with the team today. Then, I started remembering folks I knew in my past; my godparent's daughter, my elementary school classmate, and my middle-school English teacher. So, I signed up for the Nike Women's Half-Marathon. During that race, I ran up Inspiration Hill and saw sign after sign of survivors, honored heroes, and folks who didn't make it. Something clicked.

This isn't about fitness for me anymore! It's profoundly personal. These people I am "helping" aren't out there "somewhere." These are people I know-people I love-they are family. And you do whatever it takes to help family.

So, what does this mean for those of us who aren't independently wealthy, or linked into a huge corporate donating machine? It means hard work. It means yet another uncomfortable quest to hit up friends and family for money. It means getting creative-thinking of new projects and ways to earn money. It may also mean finding other ways to help-donating blood or platelets, signing up for the bone marrow registry, or volunteering to speak at recruitment events. For me it means staying involved.

I am thankful to TNT for giving us a vehicle to raise money where it does so much good. And raising money IS the main deal. I believe I am joining hands with all of the rest of the TNT Alumni and we are making a difference. I hope you'll do the same.

Lori Rasmussen has been an enthusiastic TNT participant since 2007. She has participated in three half-marathons and is currently planning to attempt her first full marathon with TNT at the Country Music Marathon TEAM.

Team In Training Georgia Chapter is now recruiting for the Summer 2010 Season. Contact the TNT staff for details, (404) 720-7842.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Riding with Flat Carol by Jim Osterman

Brand names are wonderful creations, but we usually don’t imbue great expectations on them. I am not surprised to see five male musicians if I go see Barenaked Ladies in concert.

In my time with Team In Training I do not habitually ponder the word “team”. Thank goodness for people like Debbie Buckland.

Last year she was training for her second go at America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride, a 100-mile excursion around Lake Tahoe and a staple for TNT cyclists. On her team was my wife, Carol.

The event is in early June, but the team had been preparing since February. That meant they peddled in freezing cold, heat & humidity, pouring rain – just about everything but snow.

And when you ride through all weathers with people you start to get close through shared experience/fatigue. But you never know how close.

May 12, a few weeks before the event Carol was diagnosed with a brain tumor. If you know her you would not be surprised that, after the neurosurgeon explained how he would remove the tumor, she asked how that would affect her when she did her century bike ride.

But inside she knew her season would end in the operating room and not Lake Tahoe. Her team would have to go without her. Wouldn’t they?

“She had worked so hard -- it wasn’t fair,” Buckland said. “Then I started thinking – just because Carol couldn’t go didn’t mean she had to be left out.”

She secured a headshot of Carol, increased it to life size, laminated it and mounted it on a stick. If real Carol was not going, Flat Carol was.

“Flat Carol was in my carryon bag for the first leg of our trip,” Buckland explained. “But when we got to Houston to change planes I got everybody together for a group picture and Flat Carol came out to be in the pictures. People in the airport starting coming up to ask us what was up.”

Flat Carol was a fixture at virtually every stop the team made from that point – the plane to Sacramento, the bus to Tahoe, bike pick up, packet pick up, the inspiration dinner, the victory party – she was ubiquitous.

She also made the ride, attached to Buckland’s bike but scandalously sans helmet.

Back home Buckland used a software program and created a hardback photo book about Flat Carol’s escapades. The book was given to real Carol at the reunion, along with a certificate for having “the best excuse for missing an event….brain tumor.”

It is that kind of caring and effort that serves as an ample reminder why the word “team” comes first in TNT.

"I kept telling them that I was with them in spirit the whole ride and that the day of the ride I thought of them all day," Carol said. "When they started, as they were climbing the big hills, when they were finishing. And it moved me so much when I found out that they actually took me with them. And I'm looking forward to being there in 3-D this year."

Real Carol has recovered from having the tumor removed and will indeed be back this year with the Tahoe team to ride her century, but Flat Carol has retired. Fear not -- Buckland said the 2010 squad would likely have another two-dimensional team member.

And Buckland assuredly knows what a team truly is made of.

[Note – Last October at the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco I fell in step with a woman from Minnesota, like me a TNT runner. As we ran out of Golden Gate Park we swapped stories of other TNT events we had done and she mentioned she did Tahoe the previous June. I told her what Buckland had done and she yelled: “I KNOW FLAT CAROL!” The world can be strikingly small some days. – J.O.]

Accomplished and veteran Team In Training alumni, Debbie Buckland and Carol Osterman are both set to ride in the 2010 America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride. TNT'er extraordinaire and author of this blog entry, Jim Osterman is training and fundraising for the 2010 Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon. Check out Jim's blog and be sure to give him a big "Hell Yeah!"
Team In Training Georgia Chapter is now recruiting for the America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride at Lake Tahoe on June 6th. Contact the TNT staff for details, (404) 720-7842.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Let's Rock San Diego Together by Sally Last

The recent spurt of nice weather has gotten me thinking about how great of a summer marathon season Team In Training has in store. Can you imagine starting training with a little nip in the air, enjoying some great spring runs, and then getting in your long runs before the hot and humid Atlanta summer arrives? Add to that a great trip to San Diego and a super low fundraising minimum and you can probably see why I’m getting so excited.

I know that many of you were excited when TNT added the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon to its lineup last year. This summer doesn’t bring any new races, but the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon is going through so many changes that it will practically feel like a new race. Now is the perfect time to make a return trip to San Diego or check another location off your list. There’s a brand new course this year that provides great ocean views on your way to the finish at Sea World. This year they’re opening up the half marathon to all participants, so it’s bound to draw a huge crowd. Of course you can also expect the great race organization, music, and fan support that’s present at all Rock ‘n’ Roll races.

Ok, now that I’ve covered how great the race is going to be, it’s time to talk about the topic that’s likely on your mind…fundraising. I know that many of you are afraid to ask your friends and family for money again. Luckily, since this is the first year that the RnR San Diego is a benefit race for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the TNT folks are running an awesome deal. The fundraising minimum is only $2,900, which is unheard of for a West Coast event! The San Diego training season is 127 days (yes, I actually counted), which means that if you raise about $20 per day, you’ll hit your minimum and be on your way to crossing the finish line in San Diego. As the captain of the team I’m already working with our great group of mentors to plan some team fundraisers to provide an extra boost to your fundraising efforts, so $2,900 is definitely do-able for everyone. I know that times are tough for everyone, but people are still giving. I did three consecutive events and was amazed by how willing people were to give to me.

If you’re still unsure, I ask you to think about why you initially came to TNT and what you took from the experience. Many of you came to TNT with a personal honored hero and you’re well aware that our fight isn’t over yet. On the other hand, there are lots of us (including myself) who joined without a personal tie to the organization, but have since been touched by others who have been affected by the disease. Regardless of why you joined, I ask you to think about how your involvement has benefited LLS and the TNT community. As first-time participants join the team, it is truly beneficial for them to see alumni like you who have not only successfully trained and fundraised, but who also embody the true sense of community that we have. For me TNT is about continuing the mission of LLS while growing personally through my training and fundraising efforts and the amazing people that I encounter. Each marathon has been a unique experience for me and I’ve greatly valued each of them. Even if you’ve done one (or many) marathons before or if you’ve done a different sport, being a member of the San Diego team will be a new and rewarding experience for you.

Several TNT alumni have already signed up to Rock San Diego, so why don’t you be the next to sign up? It’s looking to be a great season and I hope to see you out on the roads.

Sally Last signed up for her first event with Team In Training almost two years ago and has been hooked ever since. She has run the Nike Women's Marathon twice and the ING Georgia Marathon once and has served as a mentor during two of those races. This summer she'll be captaining the team headed to the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon & 1/2.

Team In Training Georgia Chapter is now recruiting for the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon & 1/2 on June 6th and the Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon & 1/2 on June 26th. Contact the TNT staff for details, (404) 720-7842.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

TRI Something New by Joanna Berentsen

Hey TNT Alums!

We’re heading into another AWESOME summer season, and I wanted to throw an idea out to you: TRI something new. That’s right. No spell check necessary. TRI something new!!!

So, you’ve done 1-20 events with Team In Training, but they’ve been all marathons. Or a marathon and a cycle event. Or a marathon and a hike. Or a marathon and an adventure race. But what about a TRI??? Have you ever thought about it?

Yes, Jo, I’ve thought about it, but there are tons of obstacles!

Oh yeah, like what?

Well, I’d have to buy a bike!

While it’s true that a bike is a necessary piece of equipment to complete a tri, you don’t need to have one at the beginning of the season. In fact, we recommend that you don’t go out and buy something! Come to training, meet your team, meet your coaches…and then get introduced to the crazy tri community: a community of folks who have entry level bikes that they are interested in selling, so that they can upgrade to the next greatest thing. You’ll end up with a great bike that can fit any budget.

Okay, so I can get a solid used bike…but I just don’t know if I can get folks to donate again.

As Colonel Potter from the hit TV series M.A.S.H. used to say, “Horsepucky. “ While I recognize that I just severely dated myself, I am willing to take the hit to my ego to make the point. You CAN get people to donate again. Each year I have fundraised for Team In Training has been better than the last. Your donors will see a sense of commitment and consistency from you. And if you’re TRI-ing something new, they’ll be intrigued about your new journey. They want to help you reach your newest and greatest goals.

In addition, while the media likes to tell us about these ‘tough economic times,’ Americans are saving more money now that when the market was booming. And they still want to make a difference in the lives of others. They have it to give. All you have to do is ask…and let them join your journey to find a cure for cancer and have an impact on the lives of others.

Right. I get it. Fundraise early and often, send out letters and emails. Hold events. It’s all doable. But…then there’s the swim…

Ah, the swim. Let’s talk about the swim. Many of you know that I just learned to swim last year. That’s right. As you may know, I almost drown twice (that’s right…once wasn’t enough for me) as a kid. I have been terrified of water my entire life. So last year, to honor my 35th birthday, I promised myself that I wouldn’t be held back by my fears. I joined the tri team…and I learned how to swim. Now, we’ll use the word ‘swim’ loosely in this context, but the point is, I successfully completed three tris last year (and got 4th place in my final tri of the season)…and I made it through the swim due to the excellent coaching provided by Team In Training.

So what’s left? Oh yeah…you need to make the decision to sign up for the Summer season. You’ll have an awesome coaching staff (Lee Amlicke, Sarah Hackler and myself…but don’t worry…Sarah’s teaching you to swim), an amazing team, a fantastic event, a miraculous honored hero (no joke), and you’ll have given yourself and your support community the opportunity to contribute to the fight against cancer. Together, we can all make a difference…just by TRI-ing something new.
Team In Training Georgia Chapter is now recruiting for the Tri Latta in North Carolina on June 13th and the Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon in Tennessee on July 11th. Contact the TNT staff for details, (404) 720-7842.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Georgia Tech Students Running to Make a Difference

Todd Schmidt and Justin Levine may seem like your typical college students. Todd, a senior and Justin, a junior at Georgia Tech, enjoy sports, traveling and hanging out with their friends.

Oh, and they are also helping cure cancer.

Todd, Justin and about forty of their college friends have signed up for Team In Training (TNT) ; a program benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. As part of TNT, the participants are trained by expert coaches and staff to complete the Charles Harris 10K Run for Leukemia in February or the ING Georgia Marathon in March. In return, the team hopes to raise $20,000 to fight blood cancer.

“I do it because I think it’s a good way for students to give back,” says Todd. “I had a friend who was diagnosed with leukemia while we were in high school and it really hits home. Blood cancer can really hit people our age so it’s easy to raise money for something that affects so many people.”

And this isn’t the first time Todd has taken part in Team In Training. Taking the lead from his parents who have done the program many times, Todd first signed up three years ago. He gathered a few of his friends to also join him that year and eight of them finished their event. Last year, when Justin signed on to help lead the team, the event—and their impact--- grew. In the first two years combined they have raised $19,000 for the cause.

This year, with even more people on board, they are determined to reach that $20,000 mark. “I’ve kind of become addicted to it,” says Todd. “It’s easy to do because it’s just such a great opportunity to make a difference.”

“It's especially important to me that we recruit more participants each year, and ultimately raise more money,” Justin says. “Team In Training can never be just about me or Todd, the goal is to make TNT a fixture among Tech students for years long after we're gone. I think students are always looking for some sort of challenge but won't actively pursue something like Team In Training. Hopefully what we've done is opened the door for Team In Training at Tech and provided that opportunity. Next year should be even bigger.”

If you'd like to support Justin, Todd and the other Georgia Tech students in their pursuit of raising funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, please go to

Friday, January 15, 2010

Four local men embark on world’s toughest endurance event for LLS

Once is not enough! After cycling across country last year—a feat that took them more than seven days—four local men are training for yet another cross country race in 2010. The men----Dave Armento, Frank Fuerst, Tony Myers and Jerome Rossetti—are gearing up for the event, Race Across America (RAAM), this spring. This will be Frank’s first time participating in the event since an injury last year forced rider David Dowdakin to take his place.

The race, which begins in Oceanside, California and ends in Annapolis, Maryland, has been named the world’s toughest endurance athletic event by Outside Magazine.

Known as the Georgia Chain Gang, the team used the event to raise more than $82,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LL S) in 2009. But this year, their goal is to more than double that amount —they plan to raise $200,000 to benefit LLS.

The average age of the four Atlanta men is the fifties so they will be entered in the 50-59 age bracket. In addition, their crew members, who volunteer their time to travel and assist the team, will also raise a minimum of $4,000 each for the cause. Two crew members have already been named: multiple Team In Training cycling participant Jane Eastham and Warren Bruno. Bruno, owner of Atkins Park restaurant in Atlanta, is currently undergoing treatment for a Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

The RAAM route climbs more than 100,000 feet and runs through16 states as teams ride in rotating shifts 24 hours a day. In 2009, supported by a team of ten crew members, the group was forced to finish the race as a three person team. Dave Armento suffered an injury on the course on June 25th and did not finish the race with the team. Even so, the riders and crew were overcome with emotions when they finished the race. “For riders this will undoubtedly be one of the greatest achievements of their lives, something they will never forget. For our crew it was an incredible experience as well, nothing like anything any of us have ever done. We won't ever forget it either,” they said.

The four men are all avid endurance athletes—having completed marathons, Ironman triathlons and long-distance cycling events. The men are training inside about 16-20 hours per week and doing multiple 60-100-mile rides outside on the weekends.

They were all looking forward to the challenge and adventure of the race but, with a goal of raising money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, they saw the event as a way to also raise awareness for blood cancers--- a disease that now affects nearly 900,000 Americans. Cyclist Dave Armento lost a sister, uncle and father-in-law to leukemia. “I am looking forward to the ride itself again this year but I am also looking forward to making a difference,” he says. “Research has come a long way in treating blood cancers—there are now 85% success rates---so hopefully we can help raise awareness and success rates even higher.”

Learn more about the Georgia Chain Gang at
Follow the Georgia Chain Gang at or
Learn more about Race Across America at
View pictures of the 2009 RAAM:

Donate to the Georgia Chain Gang in support of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Life is an Adventure - and a Challenge! by Curtis J. Hertwig

One of the most difficult questions I’ve ever been asked is “What is an Adventure Race?” The question is difficult, not because I don’t know the answer. It’s difficult because the full explanation transcends words. An Adventure Race with Team In Training is not just competing in an endurance sport event. It’s not just gaining awareness of and doing a lot to fight cancer. An Adventure Race requires relying on others to complete the event—and allowing others to rely upon you.

Adventure Races are usually set up in 2- or 3-person teams and the Adventure Race in which we will be competing this summer cannot be completed without your team. You and your teammates will succeed because of each other. Unlike running a marathon or completing a Century bike ride, you cannot complete the race without your teammates. How else will you get over an 8’ wall covered with soap?

Another reason the question is so difficult to answer is that each Adventure Race tries—excuse me—prides itself on being different from every other Adventure Race. Not only that but they make it a point to change things up from their own event last year. Last year the Team In Training Adventure Race team competed in the Siege At Fort Yargo. That race required using a map and compass to find as many control points (numbered flags) as possible within 5 hours. There were no obstacles (or in Adventure Race speak “special tests”) involved in the course.

This year we will be competing in the Greenway Adventure Challenge. In the Greenway race, there are no control points to find. However, you have not completed the race until you have completed every obstacle along with your team within Team In Training.

Adventure Races usually involve canoeing, biking, and trekking. It’s definitely done in a non-urban environment. Another aspect that sets Adventure Racers apart is their willingness to enter into an event with a flexible mindset. When you compete in any other sport with Team In Training, you know exactly how far you will have to go. You will have a carefully prescribed route and you will perform in a carefully rehearsed fashion.

With an Adventure Race, you won’t find out what your route is or the obstacles involved until race day or the day before. Unlike a triathlon, where you know you will swim this distance, bike this route, and then run; in an Adventure Race you don’t know which one you will do first. They usually split the participants into thirds and have 1/3 start on the bike, etc.

So, I’d like to ask you:

Do you feel alive when you fly by the seat of your pants?

Do you enjoy those team-building exercises at work? Like falling backwards and hoping your partner will catch you before you hit the ground?

Would you like to get some exercise while making a serious impact in the fight against blood cancers?

Then welcome to the Team!

Curtis is an active grandfather who has completed six TNT events. He has earned the Triple Crown, is a Georgia Rock Star, and has mentored for the cycling team. In the 2010 Summer Season, he will be the assistant coach for the Team In Training Adventure Race team and will be returning to the first TNT event he ever did—America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride at Lake Tahoe. His cousin, Sid Boutwell, traveled to Thailand in search of relief from Leukemia. Curtis races in his memory.

Team In Training Georgia Chapter is now recruiting for the Greenway Adventure Race in Chattanooga, TN on May 8th, 2010. Contact the TNT staff for details, (404) 720-7842.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Mallory's Celebrating 7 Years as a Survivor by Lori Rasmussen

I think Mallory Chandler is pretty awesome. Anyone who knows me is probably rolling their eyes and thinking, “Lori, you think most everyone is awesome.” You’re right! I do! But let me tell you a little more and let’s see if maybe you agree with me.

Mallory is planning to run her first full marathon in April of this year. She is training with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training group and trying to raise $2000 to help fight blood cancer. Even more spectacular is the date of this particular event. You see, Mallory is running The Country Music Marathon in Nashville Tennessee to help raise money to fight blood cancer on the 7th anniversary of completing chemotherapy for leukemia.

At 24, Mallory has faced more obstacles, and encountered more sadness than people twice her age. She’s suffered pain, fear, anger, and sadness as she battled leukemia. She made friends with fellow patients and watched them die. She’s wondered, “why me?” and yet lived on. As a parent of kids close to her age, I wept thinking of her parents watching their “baby” face such big things. There is a lot to her story…details she can tell you that make you laugh and cry within seconds. I can’t even begin to do justice to it, but I can say this—she is amazing and she is awesome!

Before being diagnosed with leukemia, she ran on the cross country team. She was pretty decent too—fast enough to be on the varsity team as a freshman! Running today can be disappointing to her. She doesn’t have her speed any more. That makes it hard to get out there and run. But she keeps going and is making good things happen from the bad. When I asked her why she ran, she didn’t sugar coat it: “I run because I can. And I run for my friends who didn’t make it.”

So, maybe I overdo it with my use of superlatives such as amazing and awesome, but once in awhile, I meet someone who is all those things and more. I think Mallory is one of those people.
Run on, Mallory. You are making things happen!

Support Mallory as she trains for the Country Music Marathon:

Lori Rasmussen has been an enthusiastic TNT participant since 2007. She has participated in three half-marathons and is currently planning to attempt her first full marathon with TNT at the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon TEAM.