To me, teamwork is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one. You become selfless.
A quote from the great basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski is the perfect sentiment for my final pre-race guest blog. I may not be writing about basketball here, but bring five people together for a marathon relay, and the spirit of that quote applies.
This is my eighth marathon relay, and each one has been a blast. Take five people, throw in a chip timer, and you have yourself a party in my mind. I’m lucky to have family and friends who don’t run screaming in the other direction when the question “Do you want to run a marathon relay?” comes up. They have been quick to sign up and train right along with me. For this I am thankful, as through the years many folks have helped me do something I haven’t been able to do by myself, yet: Complete a marathon.
Helping me navigate the 26.2 miles for this race are four friends I met because of running, including one I met on the high school track team. We also teamed up for the relay at the 2012 Cellcom Green Bay Marathon, and we know how Mother Nature treated us that day. We decided 2014 was the year to give this relay another go.
They encouraged me to keep training through a tough Wisconsin winter, when most days it would have been easier to curl up under a blanket with my kiddos and watch kids’ shows on Netflix over and over again than hit the treadmill. Or go to my classes at the YMCA. We checked in with each other to see how training was going, talked about races we had run so far this year, and I know on more than occasion I complained to my teammates about how painful the winter was for running (Really, Mother Nature, more antics? As I have learned, Mother Nature can be a runner’s best friend or worst enemy).
Now that brutal winter is a cold, distant memory, spring has sprung, and we are less than a week from race day! I hope all our fellow Cellcom Green Bay Marathon participants are as excited as our relay team is to get to the starting line. The training is done and the hard work is behind us. Now is the time to lace up our shoes, pin on our numbers, and enjoy the race after all the miles we have put in to get to this point. Best of luck to everyone May 18, and cherish every step of your journey to the finish line.
(And to Heather, Aprill, Airon and Beth: Thanks for not encouraging me to stay buried under a blanket for the winter!)
See you on the course!