Fox Cities Marathon relay

After a colorful fun run yesterday, it was time to get back to some serious running… as serious as running a relay with 4 other friends, driving all over the Fox Cities together, sharing laughs and creating lasting memories can be!

Team Cellcom gathered in Appleton to tackle the Fox Cities Marathon Relay.  We knew it was going to be and adventure and we were ready for some fun!  Patti and I met at Matt and Molly’s to ride down with them bright and early.  Technically, I think Patti was still asleep with we climbed into the truck and Molly took a nap on the way there!  When we made it to the start line to find Gina to deliver her bib number and our timing chip, it was definitely a chilly morning.  However, the cooler temperatures were going to make for awesome running weather!  Once we knew Gina was on her way, we were off on our adventures, driving all through the Fox Cites!  Next stop – Sean’s house to pick him up and deliver him to the 1st exchange point.

While we were waiting at the 1st relay exchange point, it became clear that we had some creative team names out on the course today! “Better Late than Never”, “Girls gone running”, “booze cruisin'”, “are we there yet” and “I just pulled a hammy” were just a few of the fun team names that we heard on the course.   Granted we were proud of our team name, as 4 out of 5 team members work at Cellcom and they sponsored us to run this event through some of the amazing programs they have, to help give back to the community!  Next time, who knows what the team name will be!

Throughout the morning, we were glad to have Sean with us to navigate the area!  Having to get people to 4 different relay exchange points throughout Appleton, Kaukauna, Kimberley, Neenah and Menasha was no easy task!  Thankfully Sean knew the area well enough that he was able to get us effortlessly from one point to the other with plenty of time to spare!  We even had time to make a breakfast stop at McDonald’s for those that already ran (Gina) and those that were along as co-pilot (Molly) while Sean was running his leg!

By the time we got to mile marker 15 so that I could wait for Patti, I was ready to run!  The sun was out and it had warmed up just enough to take the chill out of the air.  I was determined to make it the best 5 miles I have run yet this summer.  Before long, Team Cellcom was announced so we knew that Patti was within a few blocks of the exchange point.  Once Patti cruised into the exchange zone and we moved our timing chip from her to me, I was on my way.  One of the coolest things about this race course is the fan support along the entire route.  It really is a huge motivator having people at every street corner, hanging out in their yards etc ready to give you an encouraging word.  I got out there and felt great, enjoying the day for everything it had to offer.  The sun was shining, the weather was favorable and we were running a marathon!  After the first mile, the little bird in my ear told me that I was running a 9:26 pace, I knew I had this one.  My goal was a 10 minute mile pace and I was on target to hit that. Over the next 4 miles, I did slow a touch, but in the end, I ended up running my 5 mile leg in just under 49 minutes!  My best 5 mile run to date!  It felt great to hit that goal, but I was really glad to see Matt at mile 20 to take over running!

Our next stop?  Mile marker 25… which just happens to be literally right around the corner from the finish line, since the the route loops around the park before it ends in the center of the park.  Molly found a parking spot a few blocks from the target mile marker.  The four of us camped out to wait for Matt so that we could all run the last mile together.  While we were waiting for Matt, I saw a familiar face… it was Ryan Sawlsville,  who was featured on Extreme Makeover, Weight loss Edition.  He was out running his second Fox Cities Marathon.  What an inspiration!  Seeing him out there running, giving it everything that he had, made my 5 mile run seem like peanuts compared to what he was doing.  Would I ever get to the point I being able to actually finish a full marathon?  The thought has been in the back of my mind for a few weeks now, so I guess we will have to see what the future brings.

Before we knew it, Matt was approaching mile marker 25 and we were off and running again.  Gina and I fell into step with Matt, while Sean a Patti were not far behind. The end of our adventure was just around the corner!  Crossing that finish line as part of Team Cellcom was a great feeling of accomplishment – we rocked that marathon!  Official chip time = 4:44:34

To my fellow teammates for the Fox Cities Marathon, thank you for letting me be part of the team, we all had amazing runs and set personal bests for our legs! I am proud of each of us and had an awesome time hanging out with everyone as we cheered each other one, pushing each other to do our best.   I never though I could pull off a 5 mile run in under 50 minutes!  Thank you for helping me reach that goal!

We came, we ran, we conquered!

Team Cellcom – still smiling after all that running!

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