It’s inspiration time!

Issaquah Salmon Days…
We had a small, but mighty turnout for the race.   It was a gorgeous Pacific Northwest fall morning…sunny…a little cool, but absolutely perfect for racing.   Marty Chakoian took advantage of the conditions to lead our group across the finishline in a stellar 47:55.   He’s definitely on his way to an outstanding Seattle Half Marathon performance in November.  Mari-Jo Fraser was next…finishing in 60:08.  More on Mari-Jo later.  Eileen Webster rounded out the group  69:11.  Like I said…small, but awfully mighty!

In the 5k, we were represented by another very fine crew with surprise entrant (and it could not have been more pleasant), Vanessa Whitacre who was joined by Janette Morantes and our good friend, Mary Pigott.    They finished looking very comfortable as they crossed the line in 53 minutes.

Rounding out the festivities was our solid support and cheering section led by Jennifer Herlihy and Todd McCoy, Colin Rines, and Gary Lanis.     It was so wonderful to see them…and to know that they still feel like they’re a part of the team despite their various reasons for sitting this event out.

Now…As promised…Back to Mari Jo Fraser.   It turns out that last Sunday was not just Issaquah Salmon Days.  It was the 6 year anniversary of her transplant…and so amazing that she chose to spend the first part of the day with us.  In true TT spirit, she showed up decked out in official wasabi-Gatorade green apparel, and carryied a helium butterfly balloon (see attached photo).   The plan…to release the balloon at some point during the race.  At the call to the start, she eagerly made her way to middle of the crowd.   As the gun went off, our crew of supporters provided an enthusiastic send off to our racers and as Mari Jo crossed the start line, our eyes looked up toward the sky for the balloon.  It was only a few minutes later that we saw it…drifting up into the sky, a tribute to all of the people who have provided the gift of life and opportunity for hope to so many others.

After getting coffee, our support crew re-assembled over near the 6 mile mark  where we could cheer our folks on as they completed their final 0.2 miles.  As Mari-Jo approached, she had a huge smile on her face…and the twinkle in her eye…another tribute to that the gift of life.

Congrats on a fine performance, Mari-Jo…and on your incredible journey over the last 6 years!

Our Marathoners

Bridget O’Connor competed in the Bellingham Bay Marathon on Sept. 27th.   This was her 4th marathon, and she went in to it with big expectations.  Unfortunately, the marathon is a race where there’s not much in the way of compromise.  And it turns out that the Bellingham’s course is full of uncompromising hills over the final 13.1 miles.  Of the course profile, Bridget says, ” The hills were brutal!  The first half was great but everything went downhill from there ( except for the course elevation).”

She still kept it together to finish in a very fine 4:21.  And while she didn’t necessarily get the big pay off she was looking for, she’s still looking to draw from all the fitness she gained by  joining us  for the Seattle Half where her big goal is to keep Marty Chakoian in eyesight!

Rachel  Lyons competed in the Portland Marathon last Sunday.  I still haven’t had a chance to catch up with Rachel, but I do know that finished in a very respectable time of 4:27:20.  Notably, this is 10 minutes faster than her debut marathon at Seattle Rock’n Roll in June!  Way to go, Rachel!   I believe she’ll be helping with a water station tomorrow so be sure to ask her for the details!
Liver Life Walk

One of our rookies, Dan Tennant, who lives down in Tacoma ventured up to Seattle for the first-ever American Liver Foundation Liver Life Walk on September 20th.  From the word on the street, his training had him more than prepared for the 5k event so he was able to go out and have a lot of fun with it and meet a lot of “really nice foks”…We look forward to having both he and his wife (whom I hear are really nice folks too) join us in November!

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