By Ann Jerome
One month from now, I’ll be running the Livestrong Austin Half-Marathon to represent and support our newest initiative “Team Ronald.” I’ve had a great time training with my new running buddies and meeting every Saturday morning at Town Lake to tackle a longer distance than the week before as we get ourselves ready for February 19th. What makes this race preparation different from the ones I’ve done before is that this is the first time I’ve made the commitment to run with a group – to meet up with someone who’s counting on me to be there each Saturday morning to help each other get through the distance. So far, I think I’ve done pretty well and have only missed two sessions – not bad.
I’ve met some great people in the Team 26 for 26 training group led by Ray Mechler. There is a solid core group and we all represent and support some wonderful Austin charities. There are three of us who are running for Team Ronald and I must say – we are doing a great job. Last week, Marie and I ran 11 miles, Rick ran even farther – it was cold, it was dark, we were tired and we ended up completing it at the fastest pace either of us had ever run consistently – wow!!!
RMHC-Austin will also be supporting Water Stop #4 on the day of the race, and we’re looking for volunteers who are interested in getting up bright and early on February 19th to support all of the runners who are going the distance to help the Livestrong Foundation and the 26 Austin Charities represented at each mile. We’re lucky to be so early in the route – our shift is from 5:30am to 9:30am – and the runners will still be energetic enough to pass through pretty quickly.
The Marathon organizers have a fancy system for tracking the volunteers. Please use this link, select our group name from the drop down menu then enter our password to sign up to volunteer: SELECT RONALD McDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES (BE CAREFUL TO SELECT THE CORRECT ONE AS THERE ARE MANY LISTED) Password: 26
As the weeks wind down and we get ready to face the race day, I find myself looking forward to each Saturday and wondering what will be the next challenge after this half-marathon. Marie is up for anything and I think there may be more athletic endeavors ahead for us – perhaps some of the new Team Ronald suggestions like the Great Urban Race in April, Keep Austin Weird 5K in June, or maybe even the newly branded Texas Tri-Series on Labor Day. Any upcoming event is fair game for a Team Ronald entry so…. check out our RMHC-Austin website http://www.rmhc-austin.org/teamronald and stay tuned!