Monday, April 29, 2013

Runner Inspiration From Joan Benoit Samuelson

The night before the big event, each Team in Training participant is invited to a big "Inspiration Dinner".  They treat us like celebrities at this event!  Coaches, family, and staff cheer participants on as they enter the event on a red carpet.  We eat dinner together, and then are treated to some amazing speakers.  The inspiration dinner for the Nike Women's half marathon in DC was amazing!

Among the speakers was the President of the Leukemia and Lymphoma society.  She told us we raised over $6 million to fight cancer!  She also told us about some amazing advances the LLS is helping to fund.  Another speaker was an leukemia survivor, Anna Lynn.  I have heard her speak before at another TNT inspiration dinner.  She is a great speaker, very motivating and entertaining.  I was happy to hear her speak again.  The headliner of the night was Joan Benoit Samuelson!

Joan Benoit Samuelson and Shalane Flanagan
I am a bit embarrassed to say that I did not know who Joan was until that evening.  As much as I love to run, I don't know much about the history of women runners.  Joan gave us a quick list of her running accomplishment--wow!  She is amazing! Joan entered the Boston Marathon as an unknown in 1979 and won!  She was the first ever women to win a gold medal as an Olympic Marathoner in Los Angeles 1984.  She has won her age group at the Boston Marathon in five different decades.  I could go on and on!  Joan is also a wife, mom, running coach and author.

What I liked best about Joan and her speech was how supportive she was to women runners of all ages.  She told us the best way to share our love for running and for life was to share our stories.  She said "Your stories move us all...Keep telling them for miles and miles to come".  I love this!  This is why I started this blog in the first place.  I though I had a story to tell.  I hoped that telling my story would move someone else to run, to get healthy.  I would like to thank Joan for inspiring me, and I would like to thank Team in Training for giving me the opportunity to hear her speak!

A dream is a wish...