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.

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