Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Minneapolis Half-Marathon Report: My 2nd event with Team in Training! Part 1 Pre-Race!

Go Team!

One week ago (June 5th) I ran the Minneapolis Half-Marathon with Team in Training.  This was my second event with the Team, and it was an amazing way to run a race with 83 of your friends, and help raise money to find a cure for blood cancers.  I ran this race also in honor of Alie, my wife's coworkers daughter who will soon be 9 years old and has fought leukemia 3 times.  She is an inspiration to all of us on the Team, and I ran in honor of her and so decorated my shirt (really all Maria, she is the puff paint queen!)

My shirt was pretty visible...maybe thats why they took so many photos!

Pre-Race: TNT Pasta Party/Inspiration Dinner

On Saturday, the night before the race, Team in Training hosted an Inspiration Dinner/Pasta Party for the participants and their families.  Its a time to fuel up some carbs before the race and to remember why we are doing this, in honor, in memory of family, friends, and loved ones stricken by blood cancer.  As a mentor, I got there early and we had a red carpet for all the participants to walk down as they came in, we made a lot of noise!

Lots of Cow bells! Couple people looked shell shocked from the noise!
Once inside, everyone got to eat some nice pasta, salad, and chicken.  I had to man the incentive table for a bit (hand out shirts and goodies to the top fundraisers) and Maria took a picture of me being goofy with the cheer supplies

What does that mean in flag language? All clear?

After a bit, Maria and I sat with our friends Bob and Bonnie who were racing in honor of their uncle, Dwayne, who passed away from leukemia (they and their cousins and Bonnie's mother, Mary, formed Team Ironman in honor of Dwayne's battle with the cancer, he never gave up).  At this point everyone was in mass food consumption high gear

We then had a guest speaker take the stage, a TNT alumni who spoke of his reason for joining TNT; the death of his brother from AML.  Running became his way to deal with the anguish and loss of his brother, and with TNT he has raised over $20,000 for blood cancer research in the hopes of finding a cure.  We honored one of our Teammates, a survivor, who passed away midway thru the training season, and Coach Val gave a very rousing poem send off for our group (it was title the "Night before the Marathon").  We ended with our cheer and tried to get a group photo....

Too many ppl taking pics at once!
It was a nice way to prepare mentally for the race the next morning, and to reflect on the many reasons why I run.  My TNT group had so many amazing people, all of us united for one goal, which made it such a close-knit circle.  We had went through trials of pain, anguished over injuries, but had been uplifted in spirit and body by what we had trained for and overcame. I look back and I was happy to be a part of that, and it's why I came back this fall with the Team. 

Well that's its for now but part 2: Race day will be up soon!  Maybe I should title it Part 2: the Minneapolis Half-Marathon (or thank you Coldplay, Katy Perry, and Nikki Minaj for helping me up the last 1.5 miles of hills!) Seriously last 3 miles were rough!

Speaking of Katy Perry, check out her latest video....Kenny G is alive!?!?

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