Yesterday was a good day.
The weather was perfect, welcoming that Autumn crisp back into our lives. The mood was electric, perfect for crushing goals. And that’s exactly what happened.
Tribe members from November Project Chicago took the opportunities of the conditions and their conditioning to do some pretty impressive things on Sept. 12. Six members competed at the Hennpin Hundred (four in a relay, two in solo efforts) in Illinois and one member raced the Big Cottonwood Marathon in Utah. Months of training and moments of doubt culminated in miles of domination for each of them. It was very inspiring.
Dallas Fischer completed her first 50 miler (50 Meowler) in part to race money and awareness of Team PAWS, a national model and the Midwest’s largest No Kill humane animal shelter. Every mile she completed was in honor of a pet whose human companion donated money to this great cause. Dallas was such an inspiration, smiling grandly at every station we saw her and maintaining her sweetness by being so kind to all the volunteers at each station throughout what was no doubt a physically and mentally challenging, exhausting endeavor. But she crushed it! She dominated her goal of 10 hrs by crossing the line with an outstanding 2nd place age group finish in (only) 9hrs 11 min! She inspired us along the way and did great for such an important cause.
Kelley Rice also completed her first 50 miler as well! Her charity of choice was the Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation, which supports gastrointestinal cancer research. Heading into the race, Kelley was understandably very nervous but despite the tremendous day she had in front of her, she was concerned with what her boyfriend Brian Fons was going to be eating throughout the day and making sure that he was well taken care of. What a testament to her character! Kelley also dominated her run with an inspirational finish. She crushed her goal of 11 hours by finishing 3rd place in her age group in 10hrs 22 min! My favorite moment was her genuine reaction of pride, excitement, and surprise while receiving age group her medal.
Dallas and Kelley finished so fast they must’ve kicked some dust up in the air because there wasn’t a dry eye at the end through the congratulatory hugs and celebration.
The tribe also had a relay team complete the 100 mile distance. Comprised of Matthew Martin, Kaitlyn Clark, Lynton Karfor, Becca Menke, and friend Tom, this was the team to beat. These men and women dominated from their first steps and carried their lead into a several hours separation by the finish. It was incredible. They won by a large margin in 14 hrs and 13 min. That is how it’s done.
Finally, Brady Johnson took his talents to out west and to the Big Cottonwood Marathon in Utah. The boy showed the competition what’s up in a BOSTON QUALIFYING time of 3:02. “Did you ever know that you’re my hero? And everything I would like to be?” You can find Brady, still in Utah, in just two weeks competing on mixed team Fast Times at NP CHI for the Northface Endurance Challenge in Park City, Utah. Get ready for more domination.
All of these things happened yesterday. It was a good day. Though it took longer to drive out in the morning to cheer than the number of hours I had slept the night before, it was worth it. There wasn’t a moment of boredom or regret- the energy of the tribe lifted everyone up. We had an incredible cheer station comprised of both Team PAWS and NP CHI members who brought the fun and energy to every cheer station we arrived at, inspiring not only our tribe members, but other runners who were giving their all. Even the volunteers enjoyed us: “Can you stay a little longer? You bring the party!”
I can hardly think of a better way to spend more than 15 hours on a Saturday. This tribe is filled with people who are bettering us, simply by striving to better themselves.
These are my friends. This is my tribe. and they can be yours, too. All you have to do is #justshowup.
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