No “I” in TEAM…..

To succeed… You need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you……….  Tony Dorsett


I was reading an article in Running Times this morning on Cross Country teams and how important it is to nurture the #7-15 runner.  The reason being that the top several runners are usually a lock and will perform accordingly but you also want TEAM success.  In a Cross Country competition, the overall place of the top 5 to 7 runners on a team will be added together and the LOWEST score equals the winning team.   So even if you have runners who will be first, second & third overall….you also really need a good finish from the fourth and fifth team runner too so that you score as low as possible.  And please remember that the further down the string, the more random the placements.  “Suzie” isn’t always going to be #4, so coaches have to be very careful to nurture all the runners in order for everyone to succeed to the best of their ability and therefore, secure the best result possible for team/school competition.

To me, this is easily transferred to partner/club running.  We each show up for a partner and/or group run for different reasons but the bottom line is that by showing up, we are nurturing each other.  Some run slower to help others come back from injury, build up fitness/mileage, etc….some run faster to try to keep up with the person beside them who might be a tad faster today.  The bottom line is that we ALL run outside of our comfort zone and as a result we ALL improve. 

I know what you are thinking…..”how is Brian P. improving by hanging back and running with me?”  Well, Brian P. may not have hauled his ass out of bed got up and out of the house this morning if he weren’t meeting up with the group for a run or he may have run 6 miles instead of 10 had he gone solo. I know some people are very disciplined but the rest of the world us need some help.  So, please know that when YOU get “up and out” and show up for a partner/group run, it matters.   I’d like to personally thank YOU for all of the partner/group runs where you  have made an appearance.

I would also like to take this opportunity to invite you to help form a TEAM for the 2012 Chicago Marathon.  Many are on the fence about committing to the marathon distance but a team concept is what may be missing for all of you who are scared leery of such a huge undertaking.  This isn’t something that needs to be done today, and I know some who have already committed are running for Charity and will have specific obligations thru those various organizations…but the rest of YOU are free to form a team.  Help me get better and let me, and the rest of the team, help you!  Our team would go under the “blue” team category, which is not competitive but fun.  The idea of this is really to foster strong ties amongst friends/runners and to nurture each other.  We will show up united and will be there for each other no matter what happens during the race so nobody feels like they are out there alone.  We train together, go together, crawl home together.  Team Shirts will identify us and also help us reorganize after the race.   The more the merrier….any paces welcome!  

Chicago Marathon Team Competition Rules

  • A minimum of four team members is required and a team can field a maximum of 10 members.
  • A Co-ed team must have a minimum of two men and two women.
  • All registered participants are eligible for the Team Competition; however the race organization has the right to declare ineligible any participant it views as having an unfair advantage over the other teams.
  • Each team must have a unique name and roster.
  • A participant can only be a member of one team.
  • A team may only compete in one division.
  • The race organization reserves the right to refuse entry to any team with a name it deems offensive or inappropriate.
  • The top three teams in each category in the Red division will receive awards.
  • The top three teams in each category in the Blue division will receive awards.
  • Winning teams are determined once the official results of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon are announced.

What do you think?  Want to form a team?

Happy Running,                                                                                                            Amanda – TooTallFritz