Congratulations to each of our team members who completed our “prove to yourself that you can do this” experience on Sunday. This was our longest run before Marathon Day. I hope this was a meaningful experience for each you. You each have your own reasons, and your own plan; and on Sunday you all got to where you wanted to be. That’s a lot to be proud of, whether it’s the marathon, your recovery, or your journey through life. I’d like to take this opportunity to let you, our team, know what your accomplishments and hard work mean to me, and how grateful I am to be part of this experience.
At the beginning of each season, I see team members from prior years once again showing up because they believe in the team and what it stands for. They understand the power of community, that they can inspire others, that they can make a difference. I also see all the new team members. Most have never done long distances before, or if they have, it was ages ago. I can sense the feeling of “Can I really do this?” I see people who don’t know each other, and know that some feel isolated and alone.
Over time, I watch people connect with each other and make new friends. I see people high-fiving their teammates as they pass along the route. I see supportive comments on our Facebook page. I see people offer to go on midweek runs with each other. I see us building our own community. Those “Can I really do this?” comments start becoming “This is the farthest I’ve ever done.” “I never thought I would be in a marathon.” “I know I can do this.” People are learning what they can accomplish by committing to a goal, accepting help from our Marathon Team community, and working hard; and they are believing in themselves. The feelings of doubt and isolation are turning into feelings of community, empowerment, and pride.
It is also amazing to me to see how much BTS support we get. Anna and Nicole don’t get paid extra to support the team. This is all volunteer work on their part, and they’ve done an amazing job getting everyone and everything where they need to be when they need to be there, and offering encouragement along the way. Amy’s cooldown sessions, and personalized fitness advice have helped many, including myself. They, along with all of the volunteers who are there to cheer us on and staff our “recharge” stops, are absolutely critical to our success. I am also thankful to all of the BTS staff and community who are supporting us behind the scenes and will be there for us at the Block Party on Marathon Day.
Watching and listening to all of this happen makes my Sunday mornings the most meaningful part of my week. Your hard work, dedication, and success is my reward. I am grateful to each of you for all that you’ve done over the last five months, and will continue to do until Marathon Day and beyond. You’ve created memories that will always stay with me. Thank you.