As a captain, I had the opportunity to spend the day out on the course cheering for and running with our Atlanta participants and other people whom I met along the way. I have always loved the spirit of event day and annoyingly yelled "Go Team!" to anyone who looked like they might care. However, I’ve always still had my race to run, so I’ve never been able to fully take in the sites. This weekend was different as I logged over 31 miles all over the race course in whatever direction (I got a quite a few looks while walking the wrong way) and at whatever pace seemed fit for the situation. Along the way I saw most of our full marathoners and met some amazing people from around the country. My experience made me truly realize the power of Team In Training and the amount of heart it takes to complete an endurance event.
Serving as captain of this team has been an extremely rewarding experience for me and I would highly recommend that others consider being a member of a team’s support staff. There’s something truly special about advising and encouraging others and watching them work towards and achieve their goals. There are several moments from this weekend that stand out in my mind and truly remind me of the value of our TEAM. I wanted to share a few moments from my race day to give others a different perspective of an endurance event:
- I got to photograph an Atlanta team member with his honored hero who was out on the course supporting him.
- I met a Southern California TNT participant in his 70s. When I asked him if he had done a marathon before he said yes and that he had stopped counting because he was over 50 marathons. He told me that he had come to value just doing an event and was long past getting concerned about time. It was a great reminder that a marathon is about much more than the amount of time it takes you to go 26.2 miles.
- I ran with the number one fundraiser in the nation who raised over $50,000 and talked to her about how she had been so successful with her fundraising.
- I was reminded of the power of my all-star team of mentors as I saw them encourage other team members and refuse to let them fall behind.
- I exchanged text messages with a team member who couldn’t make the trip and got to share his words of encouragement with one of our participants on the course.
- Around mile 24 I told a participant that it was ok to cry at that point if she needed to as I have done so myself around that point. About 30 seconds later we came across a participant with one leg and no arms and our Atlanta participant quickly pointed out that she had nothing to cry about.
- I got to show off my awful vocal skills while "singing" "Livin’ on a Prayer" for an Atlanta participant as we ran through the finish chute, which brought back memories of my amazing Nike coach doing the same for me on multiple occasions.
- I got to cross the finish line with our coaches Tommy, Kimberly, Lisa, and also Jessica, a first-time marathoner on our team. She followed her finish with the best victory dance I’ve ever seen.
Jessica Cohen is a first time TNT Georgia participant. We are thrilled to call her a marathoner...congratulations Jessica! Jessica has also raised close to $3,000 this season for LLS.
Inspired? Team In Training Georgia is currently recruiting for our Fall and Winter season events. Visit www.teamintraining.org/ga or call (404) 720-7842 for details.