Wow! That was fun! I don’t think we could have asked for a more beautiful day…While it might have been a touch on the warm side for racing, it was pretty much perfect for spectating. And, in my role as the Queen Bee Spectator, I can’t believe how many of you I was able to see during the race…I mean there were like 24,925 people I had to sort through to find you…And what I saw when I saw you was so darn cool…You all were having so much fun!….no cares in the world…trekking along “oblivious to pain, worry, and the external world”……Nirvana? Only you can be the judge of that. A rockin’ good time? You made me a believer!
But what was most impressive was how much you all enjoyed looking out for each other and seeing each other before, during, and after the race. That kind of camaraderie is a special thing…not all teams have it. But you guys…you guys…I think you do. According to Wikipedia (I’m branching out here), the most effective team is produced when “all the individuals involved harmonize their contributions and work towards a common goal.”
Now, I know I tend to be the competitive one of the bunch so I always think this means winning, but truly, you all understand that there is a goal bigger than winning a race or championship. It’s overcoming obstacles…and not letting little things drag you down. It’s striving to get the most out of life…and enjoying every single moment of the day. It’s embracing a healthy, active lifestyle…and showing that transplant recipients and donors can live that way too. It’s surrounding yourself with people who support and encourage you…and to whom you can return the favor once in awhile.
A band at every mile? Who needs that? With UWMC Team Transplant in the mix, there is bound to be plenty of good harmony all along the way!
As I mentioned before…and I’ll be the first admit that this is pretty unbelievable…I managed to see all of our transplant recipients as well as many of our other team members during the race. Here are some of the highlights:
Jennifer Herlihy finally eclipsed the 2-hour barrier with her brilliant 1:59:48 effort! She’s been chipping away at this mark for quite awhile…and you know, she’s done it through sheer consistency. She runs during the week and makes it to practices for her long runs on Saturdays. She also had some great pacing by Lynne Sloan who ended up edging her out by about 15 seconds…Congratulations, Jen! It’s been a privilege watching your progress!
Allen Vary has certainly rebounded from his injury-laden fall finishing in 2:17:56 in only his 2nd attempt at the half-marathon distance. The transition from professional bowler to endurance athlete isn’t always an easy one, but he seems to be getting the hang of it. He plans to spend some time bike racing this summer. With the solid aerobic base that’s going to give him, it’ll be fun to see what he can pull off in November!
Mari-Jo Fraser made a stealth appearance, squeezing the race in in between baseball games and kids’ soccer games and boy scout meetings, and despite her crazy, busy schedule, she managed to finish a very solid 2:18:30. She’s definitely our poster girl for the benefits of cross-training!
We added 3 new members to the sub-3:00 club:
* Jonathon Baird, taking advantage of some excellent pacing by his niece, had the breakout performance of the year, finishing in 2:56:07. Only his second half marathon, it just makes you want to ask..What will this guy do next??!
* Anne Haggerty, who gets the prize for the best color coordination. Gatorade Green, hot pink, and bright blue…Who knew? I loved it…It looked awesome! And I’m sure she stood out as she crossed the line right behind Jonathon in a brilliant time of 2:56:20.
* Suzanna Moran, who just continues to improve by logarithmic leaps and bounds, dipped under 3 hours with an excellent time of 2:58:55! Turns out this was a goal of her’s…amazing what setting goals can do for you!
Not far behind them, and definitely not to be out-fashioned…Lenard Yen, sporting a pair of colorful OP/Jams-like shorts to accompany his TT Gatorade Green shirt, continued to ring on the 3-hour doorbell, with his outstanding 3:03:31, rivaling his breakthrough performance at the 2007 Capital City Half Marathon! In reviewing the finisher’s video on the RNR website…he once again had to pull out that amazing finishing kick of his!
Tami Sadusky was not far behind, and enjoying her own phenomenal race of her life. Tami clipped 5 minutes off her previous personal best time, crossing the finish line in 3:21:41. At one point, she was even ahead of husband, Mike, who had to throw in a little surge to catch up with her.
Newcomer Carla Trulson-Essenberg is proving that she is and always will be a Team Transplanter at heart (hmmm…or should that be at lungs)…. Carla completed the 13.1 mile course with a stellar debut of 3:42:48. I can not wait to see her back in the fall!
Vanessa Whitacre, another person who just continues to get better and stronger and fitter pretty much every single minute of the day, finished in an incredible time of 3:45:22. Gosh almighty! I just did the math…That was a 38 minute improvement over her November Seattle Half Marathon! Craziness!!!
Our heart guys all turned in strong, gutsy races with Mr. Dick Fitzgerald leading the way in 3:53:54, a sure sign that he is back on track and has overcome the setbacks that have sidelined him the past 2 years.
Sam Patterson was on a (rock’n) roll. Sam, whose hockey team recently placed 2nd in the National Senior’s Tournament, knocked over 12 minutes off his PR, covering the course in 4:00:59…He is on the brink of becoming a sub-4:00 guy. I can feel it!
Ron Adkins has also been battling a busy schedule and multiple interuptions to his training schedule, but he still managed to pull off rock-solid performance, clocking a very fine 4:03:50, which is not too far off a personal best for Ron…
Micah Gwinn, who was seen for the first time ever without his green jacket at the post-race BBQ, collaborated with Lenore Miller for a most excellent 4:17:34… rumor has it that they’ve already got plans to continue training through the summer. Let that be a warning to all of you planning to take the summer off!
Special kudos go to Dan Evered, our pre-lung transplant, who walked about 7-8 miles of the race. I was not actually expecting him so it was quite a pleasant surprise to see him, his daughter by his side, cruising along at the 6-mile mark. Outstanding effort!
And, finally, let’s have a round of applause for our marathoners, which included Amanda Preston, Greg Mead, Cara Oliver, Rachel Lyons, Christina Sugg, and Cathy Seifert.
Fantastic job, everyone!
Superstars of the Week
Thanks to everyone who helped out at the finishline….James, Ida, Jason Stahl, Colin Rines…Knowing you all were there to make sure everyone got across the finishline in one piece was huge! It’s so nice to have someone around after a race, to acknowledge your accomplishment and to care about how you did…To be honest, I can’t imagine a more enthusiastic, welcoming bunch! Thanks so much for be willing to get up early (or perhaps you never went to bed?), come downtown, sit around in the QWEST Field parking lot for 6 hours, and then fight traffic afterwards to get home. Hopefully we’ll get to see you taking your turn out on the race course very soon!
Thanks to Julie Sprinkle for the GREEN balloons! Next time I’ll know to pick a meeting location that isn’t right at the shuttle drop-off and port-a-potty lines!
Let’s hear it for everyone who helped with the post-race BBQ…Lenore Miller, Jennifer Herlihy, Susan Bussell, Ida and James, and Janette Morantes all showed up at my house on Friday afternoon to help with some last-minute yardwork and set up tables and service lines… I know Mark Rosinbum, Jennifer H., Tami Sadusky, Harch Ooi, Lenard Yen, Julie Sprinkle, Lenore M., Susan Bussell, Janette, and Diane Vetres all brought items to share at the BBQ…Diane V., Tess Brown, Siobhan Ginnane, and Laura Lewis all helped with clean up…I’m sure I’ve missed people…just know if I did, your help was greatly appreciated…It was a crazy long day and some of the details are blurry!
Special thanks to Janette for spending her post-race recovery time grilling hamburgers and veggie burgers for us! She did an awesome job…The burgers were wonderful…much better than you would’ve gotten from me…though I’m sure she had to rely on a few packets of GU to pull it off!
Plans for the future
Hard to believe but we’ll be starting up training for the Seattle Half next month! Look for information in your inbox in the next few weeks. If you have any suggestions on how we can improve practices, the race weekend experience, or thoughts on apparel, please pass them along! We want to make sure we’re all harmonizing toward a common goal!
Have a great summer, everyone! Look forward to seeing you in August!