RACE NUMBER 6: BB&T Half Marathon (and 8K) in Greensboro, NC
Saturday, April 6th: RACE DAY!
There are hardly words to describe how incredible I felt yesterday after spending time with each of our TeamUP ambassadors. If you don't know what I'm referring to please check out the previous blogpost for the story. Today I am even more excited as 8 people with foot drop, all wearing Allard braces, will be competing in the same event for the first time ever. One more person, Rod Fulmer, will be cheering from the sidelines in his braces, but not because he cannot walk in this event but because he's saving his strength as he trains for his upcoming hike up Stone Mountain in Georgia!
Along with the 7 "official" ambassadors for TeamUP we were joined by Greensboro native and recent ToeOFF wearer Steve Lindsay Loflin who came downtown to run with us in the Half Marathon. Allard's Southeast District Manager, Buzz Hanie, made the trip up from Georgia to run the 8K--his second event of the year. Allard's former Southeast District Manager, Susan Fortener, also made the trip from Atlanta to run the Half today. My husband is also joining me in running the Half while Barbie Barnett, Virginia Mamone, Craig Vogtsberger, Jill Walsh, Darren Smith and Shannon Poortenga are all entered in the 8K.
I also have a slew of close friends who are running today: Joy Savage and Amy Ketterman in the Half, Carolyn Williams, Cindy and Heath McCall, Rick Buckner in the 8K. Mark and Michelle Sanford will be race officials on the course today, Cindy and Don Adams, Julia Nile, Orthotist Michael Bissell, Ed & Melissa Wolverton....and I'm sure I'm forgetting a few others...have all pledged their support on the sidelines today.
The weather has turned out to be perfect for the runners although a bit on the chilly side for the spectators. Skies are crystal-clear blue and the wind is very light; a recipe for a great run. The Half Marathon starts at 8:00am with the 8K getting underway about 20 minutes later. All of us will be led out of the gate by the motivational thunder of the A&T Drum Line, what an inspiring treat!
Below you'll find an assortment of photos from the morning. My apologies that there is no real order to these pictures, I added them from different sources and am too lazy to realign them.
|A beautiful, crisp morning in downtown Greensboro.|
|Center City condos watching over us as the morning begins.|
|I find Dr. Fields before the start of the race, he's the director of the medical team for today's events and took a moment to humor me with a photo op.|
|My view at the start of the Half Marathon.|
|Jess DaPolito, from Bouvier-Kelly, is hard at work as photographer for the day.|
|My friend, Mark "Tex" Sanford volunteering as a race official while Jim tries to back out of the run today at mile 2.|
|It's so great to see friends of mine as race officials! Tex was a bit bummed they didn't give him a gun to use for enforcement. (Kidding, of course)|
|Tex's wife, Michelle "Cecil" Sanford, right, helping Officer Wallace with the traffic at mile 7.|
|Michelle played "Grommet" to the officer's "Wallace" in her groovy Get Back UP button. Michelle was a runner-favorite with her funny, motivational shout-outs at the halfway point in the race.|
|Two of the best cheerleaders on the course. They stood at the crest of a long hill, cheering as loudly as possible to help those of us at the bottom make the climb. You ladies ROCK!|
|Jim jogs up Country Club road, wishing he were on the golf course this morning rather than running beside it. Oh well, honey, there's always tomorrow!|
|Virginia gets interviewed by News 14 after a great run in the 8K.|
|Barbie Barnett tells her story after finishing strong in the 8K.|
|Dr. Fields making sure the entire field stays healthy today.|
|Barbie, Craig and Darren joke at the start of the 8K while Jill (pink hat) gets her game face on.|
|What a team!!!|
|Jill makes her way up the last hill along Elm Street on her way to Second Place in her age group...you go, girl!!|
|Craig cruises in as the first TeamUP runner across the finish line today; he placed 5th in his age group...great run, Craig!|
|Rod Fulmer, along with his wife, daughter and daughter's friend, were our best fans of the day. Thanks to the Fulmer Crew for all the cheering and encouragement--YOU ROCK!|
|Jill, Craig, Barbie, Shannon, Virginia, Dr. Fields and Darren before the 8K start. What a good-looking crew.|
|The Triumvirate: Barbie, Virginia and Shannon strut their stuff through 5 miles of hills.|
|Jim and I slogging up the last hill.|
|Darren finishes the last stretch with a great kick!|
|I love this photo...look at all the ToeOFFs ready to roll!|
|A&T Drum Line at the starting line.|
|Angie, Buzz, Carol and Jayme of AllardUSA enjoying the inaugural TeamUP events.|
|Denny Kelly, center, shares in the fun with the Fulmers and Craig.|
|Liz Summers, of BKI, is always on the job.|
|Ashley Watkins of BKI fights to stay warm as she tends to the PR details.|
|TeamUP buttons and flowers in our very own VIP tent in Center City Park, downtown Greensboro.|
|Amazing performances to start the day!|
|The team bonds before the gun goes off, then it's "Every man for himself!"|
|And they're off!|
|Jill wins 2nd Place!|
|Angie, front, Carol, back right, enjoy the day after many months of helping to make this day possible for us all.|
|Carol tries her best to get TeamUP to smile for the cameras as Angie looks on and pretends not to be related. :-)|
We love you, Carol!!
|Craig leading the mid-air race to the finish line.|
|Team spirit is running high this morning!|
|Changing minds, changing lives.|
|Shannon, Virginia and Barbie all finish together after 5 long, hilly miles!|
|A medal for the Competitors....|
|...a medal for the true CHAMPIONs.|