Saturday, January 29, 2011

Team GLASA 2011 Chicago Marathon

With the official registration for the Chicago Marathon set to open on February 1, I have been looking to find a charity for which to run this year's race. On October 10, 2010, I made my marathon debut on the same streets Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain rolled to a world record setting performance eight years ago. This was just months before she raced to yet another world record shattering performance at the London Marathon. What a way to prove that her accomplishment in Chicago was not a fluke and what was to be expected of her each time she raced as I believe Paula has won every single marathon in which she has run. This does not take into account the marathons at the Olympics as Paula has struggled in those events, but in the 2008 race at the Olympics she did put to rest past demons even if she did not win. Prior to being inspired by the great Paula Radcliffe, I never considered running a marathon. Once I was moved by Lokelani McMichael to dream of completing an Ironman Triathlon, I knew a stand alone marathon would be a great achievement prior to chasing the dream of hearing the PA announcer call me an Ironman. To make the experience of my debut marathon special, I decided to attempt the 26.2 miles distance in my home town race. In addition to that, I chose to run it for a local charity. The Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association. As a member of Team GLASA, I received a complimentary entry in the GLASA Twilight 5K as well as being assigned a GLASA athlete on whose behalf I would run. In fact, I had the great privilege of running on behalf of two athletes. Sixteen year old twins, Elizabeth and Emily. Liz is visually impaired and Emily has cerebral palsy. It was such a joy to have strangers on the race course encourage me by yelling out how proud Liz and Emily must be for me. They were. I received the most beautiful touching note of gratitude from them shortly after completing the marathon. It was such a rewarding experience that I plan to run the Chicago Marathon once again this year. I hope to shatter my finishing time from last year while racing through the streets of Chicago on behalf of a great cause. I have given serious consideration to returning to join Team GLASA in 2011. I have also been considering selecting another of the non profits to which I know my friends feel close. I do not want to disappoint or let any one organization down, but I am having a difficult time deciding with which one to go. There are a few more days prior to the start of registration and even after then, I will have some time before the race reaches capacity. I hope to decide in short order.

For anyone wanting a charity for which to run, the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association is a wonderful group which works with youth and adults with physical and visual disabilities. To read about the organization and to learn about the perks when joining GLASA for the Chicago Marathon, please log on to:

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