Sunday, January 25, 2009

Carlsbad Marathon is here!

It's late on the eve of the Carlsbad marathon, so you'll have to pardon me if this blog entry is short. I know so many of you have supported me in my training this season for this race. Unfortunately, due to injury, I am unable to run tomorrow. It's a strong reminder that it was the 5 month journey of training 6 days per week....and not the last final day of a race...that matters. I will post more tomorrow and on Monday. However, I did want to share with you how I painted my Team in Training (TNT) tank for our race day (which I'll still be wearing as I cheer from the sidelines for my team and mentees). It's a statement to UNITE across cancer organization in the fight against cancer and to LIVESTRONG! We also had our Inspiration Dinner / Pasta Party tonight for all the TNT teams in town for the race...hence the silly group photo I posted of our Coaches, Captains & Mentor staff.


  1. Hope it is fun day today, Julie. I was injured for a race a couple of years ago but had a great time cheering my friends as they ran by. Love the group team photo. Art

  2. It would be nice if TnT WERE more inclusive of other cancer support organizations. I commend you on at least trying to improve the image of TnT at races.

    I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon and Half Marathons two weeks ago for another organization, and got SO annoyed with TnT fans, mentors, and coaches cheering for ONLY purple runners (they seem to be falling back into habits that almost got them banned from some races a few years ago), that I started telling to the TnT supporters "HEY! Cheer for EVERYONE! Some of us raised EVEN MORE money and PAID OUR OWN WAY FOR THESE EVENTS!"

  3. Hi all. Thanks for the notes. It was a great day, and I'll share more later. Our TNT cheer squad cheered for all runners...and had signed that said "LIVESTRONG, Runners!", "Go TNT Heroes" (of course), "Cures Rock!" (my addition), "We love runners", etc. It's a smaller race, so it was much easier to cheer everyone on. There were only 2 TNT teams at this particular race (us and LA), so it was a smaller group...we had a grand ol' time! Michael, sorry to hear about your TNT experience at WDW. We hope everyone brings out their personal cheer squads to races and cheers for everyone,too! Goes both ways!

    I think my multiple signs cracked runners up...a few even stopped to ask which one I was rooting for, and I said "EVERYONE!" :) It's comments and feedback that help us all improve as runners and teams out there on the course. THANKS!

  4. Oh, and just to clarify, travel expenses are covered as part of the administration costs of 1st time TNT-ers, however TNT alums pay their own way to places like WDW, etc. For example, I'm training with TNT for the RNR Seattle marathon and will be fundraising like crazy, but will cover all of my own expenses, travel, hotel, etc.

  5. I do also love seeing organizations working together for a common cause. I have to say that even though I went to a race to cheer on my sister that was a part of TNT, my ENTIRE family and friends (and strangers that I saw) absolutely cheered for as many people as we could that were running by. I think it's impossible to say "all" or "none" when discussing who does or doesn't cheer or act a certain way. It's a bummer, Michael that you had a bad experience because TNT has only been supportive from what I've seen.
    Off and running! Have a good night, All!

  6. I'm not saying ALL TnT fans, coaches, mentors, family members only cheered for purple runners. Some of them were cheering for everyone.

    I also am not adverse to the cause. Quite the contrary, I've raised and donate more money and time to cancer research and survivorship programs than many in TnT have yet had the opportunity to give. I'm a cancer survivor myself, so is my wife.

    I AM saying that a majority of TnT fans (probably three out of five or 60%) were only cheering for TnT runners. That is unacceptable. Also, far too many TnT runners STILL DO NOT KNOW PROPER RACE ETIQUETTE.

    It is not their fault. A first time marathon is a near overwhelming experience.

    I have been running marathons for close to a decade in which TnT participate also now participate, usually years after I started running these events. Too often TnT runners/walkers have not seeded themselves properly at the starting line and are walking (or slowly jogging) three and four abreast impeding the flow of other runners.

    Marathons take a long time to finish, and often it is nice to share a few words with fellow participants on the road. I have given up trying to exchange pleasantries with TnT runners as they will usually (nine out of ten times) NEVER respond unless you are part of "The Team". That is just rude.

    I have seen this happen time and again over the years. This was not a one time occurrence, and it rarely changes, though it had been getting a little better a couple of years ago.

    And to directly address one of your comments Julie, in ALL of my mentoring and involvement, I've always cheered for everyone (yes even rude TnT runners) and told those I was advising to do the same. My motto has always been "Be the happiest and most polite athletes in the event. You have our organization's name on your shirt and your are the representative of our group."

    This should never be about 'bringing out your own cheer squad'. That is the type of thinking and behavior that has gotten TnT a lot of its criticism over the years from MANY runners.

    Don't say "It goes both ways". TnT has had things 'their way' for far too long and it needs to change. They need to be better fans, and participants at the events in which they attend.

    I see great things in TnT and all other causes runners support, but TnT needs to be better behaved, and 'better event citizens'.

    I saw one charity running group ("AT Cure"?) actually staffing and running one of the official Walt Disney World Aid Stations all by themselves. I have NEVER seen TnT ever do something as noble as that even though they certainly have the resources to do so!

    A little good will goes a long way. Arrogance and exclusiveness go even farther in the opposite direction.

    It is NOT all about ANY single group at these marathons. We are all in this together.

    Thanks for listening.

  7. Hi Michael. Thanks for taking the time to comment again on my blog. I always learn a lot from those that have pounded the pavement before me, and appreciate your comments and insight. It frustrates me that you've had poor experiences with TNT-ers. To be honest, our local chapter and run team works hard to instill ettiquette, and we're a pretty fun bunch on the road for race day. We have a lot of elite runners on our team (sponsored athletes and Boston qualifier level), so they work hard to teach us the "ropes." I couldn't agree more when you said, "I've always cheered for everyone (yes even rude TnT runners) and told those I was advising to do the same. My motto has always been "Be the happiest and most polite athletes in the event. You have our organization's name on your shirt and your are the representative of our group." AMEN! I think we have the same philosophy. What I meant by "cheer squad" is more that participants should encourage their friends and family to come and cheer for them...see what all their hard work is all about (I'm not talking just TNT)...cheering yesterday for the whole race was the most fun I've had all month! I loved seeing smiles on faces of the runners. Honestly, the Carlsbad marathon could've used more race supporters cheering on all the runners, as there were many spots where runners (all runners, not just TNT) were running alone for very long stretches. That's all I meant. I like to support races in my city, even if I'm not running, and regardless of whether or not I'm with TNT. To be honest, I don't want to get into commeting about one organization over me, I imagine they ALL have their perks and frustrations equally, which I could spend time pointing out. We can all learn from each other, and I know I bring my experiences from all the cancer organizations I work for back to the other teams. That's not to say we all can't improve --- I am a new runner over the past year, and have a lot to learn from the road warriors ahead of me, which I imagine get frustrated with the new "pups" trying to learn the sport of marathon running. Patience and willingness to teach me are always greatly appreciated.

    And, here, here! It is NOT about ANY single group at the marathons. We all run our own race, and yet, we are also all in it together. Especially, as you and I are both survivors, when it's one fight. One team. You couldn't have said it better.

    Thanks, again, for taking the time to stop by my blog. Hey...if anything, you have to smile at the comments of another survivor and someone new to the world of marathons. :)

  8. I'm glad we agree on a vast majority of the topics in this discussion.

    Over the years. I've worked with several different cancer organizations (who wear pink, purple and yellow). I've seen the topic of charity marathon runners from many different view points.

    Good luck in the future.


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