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Once a padawan, now a freaking Jedi. I run really far, I write a bunch, and have super powers that allow me to grow amazing facial hair.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Rock 'n Roll San Antonio: Giving is the Best Way of Getting

Some of the best and most memorable experiences with running have not come from my own races or personal achievements, but rather in helping others reach their goals. I don't consider myself exceptionally altruistic, but there is just something about helping others that is special.

The San Antonio Rock 'n Roll Marathon took place yesterday, and though I didn't get to run, my role meant much more to me than if I had simply been a participant. I joined several of my coworkers from the Physical Health and Wellness team to coach 20 of our wounded warriors to the finish line, most for their very first marathon.

Apparently I Didn't
Get the Memo...

To be honest, I wasn't even sure if I wanted to go at first. This was the finale of the Run to Somewhere program that I had talked big about helping all year, but was only able to attend about half of the build up races for, and not a single training run. On top of that I had just spent the last 3 weeks out of town, not terribly excited at the onset to spend my first day home at "work".

But alas... I woke up at 4am and headed to the hotel where all of our runners and the staff had stayed the night before. I didn't know what Danny and Chris had in mind for my role, but I showed up willing to do anything that might be needed.

Team WWP!
We had runners competing in both the half and full marathon events, so it was going to be a challenge helping all of them. We started off together, staff and participants, for the first two miles. I stopped there and cut course to mile 9 with Danny and Allison to wait for our guys and gals to get there.

And so that's how it went... we would run two mile stretches at a time, motivating them, making sure they were doing well, and had everything they needed. Keep in mind, some of these people were running with significant combat injuries, probably at times not believing they would ever get to pursue such a feat as a 26.2 mile marathon.

The highlight came when we tracked our last half marathon runner coming to the split. Four staff members ran behind her for the last 2 miles of her race holding the Wounded Warrior Project banner behind her as she completed the final stretch. The crowd erupted as we approached the finish line and there was no mistake that it was all for her.

After the half marathoners all reached their goal, staff headed to the end of the full course to catch the rest on their way in. From there we took turns running with each of our warriors for the last mile of the race.



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