SparkPeople Members Take on Chicago
This past weekend was no exception as SparkPeople members gathered in Grant Park early Sunday morning to run and walk in the Second Annual Chicago Rock N Roll Half-Marathon. The day was absolutely gorgeous with not a cloud in the sky. It was a little warmer than ideal and the humidity was quite high, however, we all went out to run our very best.
Knowing that this would be the first half-marathon for several of our SparkPeople members, I decided to carry my camera along the course to document their great accomplishments when we gathered at the finish line in Grant Park. Never in my wildest dream did I ever think I would actually have the honor to run with both of these members.
I was running along enjoying the sites when at mile 6 or so I looked over and could not believe that I was running with SparkPeople member Root4Home (AKA Elsa). Never in all my years of racing have I ever had the opportunity to meet another runner like this, especially in a sea of over 18,000 runners. We shared a wave as I ran ahead and was able to document her accomplishment as she continued running her race looking confident and relaxed.
Then around mile 9.5 I heard my name only to find Teniswhiz (AKA Lynn) running right behind me. Because I had my Sparkin' Hood to Coast shirt on with the SparkPeople Burst on the back she was able to see I was with SparkPeople. I can't begin to tell you what a thrill and honor it was to share this event with my two new SparkPeople running buddies.
At the end of the race, we all met at the 'S', a suggestion made by FELIXC (AKA Rhonda) at our first ever running event in New Orleans. It has now become a SparkPeople tradition to meet at the "S", the standard meeting place for SparkPeople members to reunite after running/walking their event.
We had members from all over come and share this glorious day. We had Muckity_Muck (AKA Monica) come in from Shanghai who was back in the States visiting family and friends and ANEPANALIPTI (AKA Dimitra) from Greece who was also visiting family while on break from college.
We had Suezette_414 (AKA Suezette) from Florida, Rhonda from Nebraska, Deej4Fitness (AKA Deej) from Indiana and of course many local folks including TENISWHIZ, Tigger622 (AKA Dani) who ran the event with her friend Luke and her Dad, Jim and FARLEY18 (AKA Rita) who travelled 40 miles by train to cheer on the SparkPeople runners and walkers. We even had a few members, TORTEUTOO (AKA Jenny) and Root4Home, make the quick trip down from Milwaukee to run this event.
Meeting members for the first time is becoming the highlight of my trips. No matter where I run, I have had the great opportunity to meet some of the most inspiring people ever. It is amazing the connection we seem to have with one another. It's as if we have always been life-long friends while sharing the joy of embracing a healthy lifestyle.
Three weeks from today I will have the honor to run in one of the most prestigious running events in the country--The Hood to Coast Relay comprised of all SparkPeople members who just so happened to meet online. It is truly going to be the highlight of my running career. The excitement is growing by the hour and come Saturday evening on August 28th there will be a SparkPeople party taking place in the small community of Seaside, Oregon. Rumor has it, we may even find a few sparklers to light up the night sky in honor of the event and in thanks to SparkPeople for bringing us all together. Stay tuned for more.
And if you happen to be running or walking the Victoria Marathon and Half Marathon in Victoria, British Columbia on October 10th, the Los Angeles Rock N Roll Half Marathon on October 24th, the San Antonio Rock N Roll event on November 14th or the Las Vegas Rock N Roll event on December 5th, drop me a line. We have teams formed and ready to meet at the "S".
If you are running or walking in an event and would like to meet other SparkPeople members, feel free to post here when and where and let's get the momentum rolling.
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