Wow, what an incredible weekend it was spending time in New Orleans with fourteen SparkPeople Members and their friends and family. You cannot even begin to imagine the excitement we were all experiencing as we made our trek from all over the country and Canada to finally have the wonderful opportunity to meet. Trust me when I say this, but it was like coming home to a big family reunion. There was an instant connection we all felt the minute we said our 'hellos'.
SparkPeople members get ready to race
For me, this was an opportunity to see the accomplishments of first time half-marathoners, Beth (AKA COOPSM) and Jill (AKA MOM2ALEX2004) and first time marathoner Tammy (AKA TamTam64) live their dream. We had two members, Dani (AKA Tigger622) and Suezette (AKA Suezette-414) achieve their personal best at the race, while the rest of us enjoyed a beautiful day of racing.
Suezette and Dani proudly show off their Half-marathon medals
This was the first time ever that I have run with so many people that I actually knew. Knowing that we were all out there running a race together made it one of the most memorable experiences in my life.
Having Jackie (AKA MISSJCISRUNNING) come up beside me at mile 5 was so cool. I have never had that happen in my over 75 races I have competed in over the past 4 years. To have someone come up beside you and ask how you are doing was once again an incredible experience. Seeing Sharon (AKA MBSHAZZAR) at the finish line cheering me on was so touching, especially as I was trying to release a back spasm that hit at mile 10.
Five members of the Half-Marathon team
One by one the half-marathoners met in our pre-determined destination family point--of course that was the letter 'S' for SparkPeople. We then all made the mass exodus to the marathon finish line to meet Gail (AKA RHYNIC) and Tammy (AKA TamTam64) as they came in. To stand and cheer on not just our friends, but the hundreds of other runners was just a memory I will hold close to my heart.
Gail and Tammy show off their Marathon medals
Words cannot express all the wonderful times we had. I hope you enjoy viewing the photos. The excitement was one thousand fold of what you see in the photos.
So if you think you may be interested, we are planning our next run for ING Marathon/Half Marathon in Miami on Sunday, January 30, 2011. And if you don't think you are going to be ready, they also have a 5K race on Saturday before the big run--and look at the memories you will be making.
SparkPeople members Janet and Betty
First night in New Orleans
Breakfast at the world renown Brennan's
Would you consider traveling to a destination race if you knew other SparkPeople members were going? Are you inspired by these runners and walkers to come to Miami to take on a 5K, Half-marathon or a Marathon?
More From SparkPeople