Betsy's Corner- Fall 2013

As a young runner in the late seventies, I never dreamed of doing a marathon unless I was ready to run under three and half hours. Boston Marathon was one  of the few races to even consider. Boy, have times changed. Beginning in 1988 runners, even walkers had a new reason to marathon train, people who never, ever considered tackling any distance event had the courage and desire to get in shape while helping others in need. Thus began “Team in Training” or the purple people as we in the event business affectionately call them. Just 15 years later, more than $1.3 billion have been raised by you and me, the running community, toward finding a cure for blood cancers like Leukemia.

Cancer sucks. Sorry, I don’t like that word either, but it just fits. Last year a dear friend lost his battle, now my nephew Tony is going through horrific treatments for lung cancer…he is just 37, a new daddy and a great athlete. But I think we need to stay positive that cures are discovered every day. Donna, one of our training program coordinators is a breast cancer survivor. Most of us know someone who has overcome the odds. Our beautiful niece Megan was diagnosed with Leukemia at age 16. It was an awful time…but now we are off to this healthy, independent, 29-year-old young lady’s wedding in Maine. What a celebration we’ll have! A couple years back she and Emma (our daughter) ran the Disney Half Marathon amongst hundreds of TNT’s purple people; an incredible experience  for those two. Megan actually worked at Track Shack one summer while undergoing treatment, she looked so awesome in her ball cap, covering her sweet bald head, while behind the counter ringing out customers.

Hey, did you hear? Fall is coming to Florida in September? Right…doesn’t it always feel cooler come September 21st? Like magic we’ll be wearing cute  little jackets like the Saucony ones arriving at Track Shack soon. Tights and capri’s may have to wait until December when the winter season begins. I’m rolling my eyes…oh brother J. These seasons were certainly not chosen by anyone living in Florida! I’m still mopping up the kitchen floor as sweat drips from my sweaty clothes after a morning run, yuk! But, because it is fall we are busy creating exciting and fun running and walking events for all of Central Florida to enjoy! Run to TrackShack.com to see our amazing new website, take a peak at the great colors of the new shoes coming in and then pick and choose some events to put on your calendar. The UCF, U Can Finish 5 and 2 mile always reminds me that football season has started. The UCF event is our first Distance Dare of the season and the medal is awesome! We actually have collegiate running hats now at Track Shack by Headsweats.

I think Jon plans to wear his FSU one a lot this fall. (another eye roll for me, time to read a new book…football season excites me so much ). However, I am looking forward to Saturday night, November 2, because the RUNNONA 5k, run/walk will be a night of good food and fun activities. Of course, we are all gearing up for the OUC Orlando Half Marathon! We will be running the same course as last year, there is prize money for the top finishers, music, great awards and our goal is to make this THE event no one wants to miss! Our Baker’s Dozen training program just started as well, perfect timing for a winter half marathon.

Our Track Shack family is growing…and growing. A baby is on “his” way come October for Sarah. She’ll be easy to spot working some of our early fall events. But not to worry, she won’t be doing the heavy lifting of tables and such. And our sweet Annie, who does a great job on Track Shack’s website plus helps coordinate registration for events, is getting married! Jon and I are so lucky to have two families: our own and our staff.It may not seem possible but it’s time to think about the holidays. My goal, after being reminded of this by a good friend, is not to sweat the small stuff. I plan to enjoy the season, start my planning early, be organized and not stress. I have a secret stash of presents already growing in the closet; no last minute shopping for me. Jon and I want to spend more time with family and friends this year as we count our blessings and continue to pray for those less fortunate. Once again, I’ll see you on the roads and if you happen to run by a purple singlet during an event, say thanks!

See you on the roads!

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