As part of the celebration, we acknowledge our runners for their accomplishments, including fastest marathon and half marathon finish times, outstanding rookie and alumni, as well as silly superlatives like fashionista and inspector gadget. It should come as no surprise to anyone that I won the "Data Geek" award, because I'm always logging all my work outs, crunching the numbers, updating our website, and making spreadsheets to share all the data I've collected.
What did come as a pleasant surprise was that they honored me with the Inaugural Lee Strickland Award. Lee Strickland was one of the first group leaders who contributed tremendously to the program. He passed away in Haiti during the earthquake, and this award was made in his memory. As stated in the nomination form, this goes to a runner who exemplified courage, kindness, and made his/her season less about running and more about overcoming obstacles and helping others.
For once I was speechless, and I could not hold back the tears. I was so caught up in the moment, and trying to compose myself so I could say a few words, that I didn't even realized I got a standing ovation until I saw the pictures later. I was truly overwhelmed with joy and it was so nice to hear Laura's kind words when she introduced the award and everyone that approached me after. Even though I ultimately accomplished my running goals this year, the biggest reward by a long shot came from seeing the runners in my group and throughout the program accomplish their goals. There is something really special about seeing a new runner accomplish something they never thought they could ever do, and then hearing them plan to do it again :)
A million thanks to everyone in the Galloway Program who touched my life this year. I truly carried each and everyone of you with me when I ran my PR marathon race this year and no way could I have done this without you.
But enough sappiness, here's a sneak peak at some of the photos from today's event, and a video one of our runners put together to promote our the Orlando Galloway program.
|Laura and Ric|
|Sole Mates - My Group|