All of the people you see in this photo were brought together by a connection here in the neighborhood and a common desire – the desire to make a difference while challenging themselves.
If you have ever thought about training for a half or full marathon, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program is a fantastic way to do it. They provide the training program, the coaching and the support and in exchange, you make a commitment to helping raise funds for the cause.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program has a lot of connections here in the community. The Director of the San Diego/Hawaii Chapter, Rick Rungaitis, lives here in San Elijo Hills. In addition, there are a number of local connections to this amazing cause.
Last year, after interviewing SEH resident, Mark Adelman, for an article here in SHARE, I was inspired to participate. And, I was beyond impressed by the quality of the program and the caliber of people involved. From someone who had never ran more than 3 miles in her life, I was able to complete a full marathon at the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon after only 15 weeks of training. More importantly, I learned a lot about people who have been impacted by a variety of blood cancers – including children.
This year, I’ve roped in a few others to participate and we would love to have your support.
Brett Gottlieb and I met while serving on the board of the San Elijo Hills Foundation. He ran the LA Marathon in 2013 with Team in Training in honor of his step-mom who passed away from cancer that same year. This year, he is stepping up again in her honor and a renewed commitment to his own health.
Kimberly Allard and I met through the San Elijo Hills Women’s Club. Kimberly has never done anything like this before and is excited to challenge herself and accomplish this milestone.
Kimberly’s husband Al ran a few half marathons in his 40s, but is excited to take on the challenge in his 50s as a way to improve his health and to give back to an amazing cause.
Carol Sayles is a new member of the San Elijo Hills Foundation board. We also met through the San Elijo Hills Women’s Club. Carol is a lot like I was last year. She’s never run more than a 5K and is really excited to take on a new challenge for herself while also forming new life-long friendships.
TK Smith is my husband. This year we celebrate our 25th anniversary in June. We’ve done a lot of things over the years, but running a marathon was not one of them….until now. What better way to celebrate 25 years together and a healthy life than to cross that finish line together?
One of our honored teammates this season is 11-year-old Ben Krueger who lives here in San Elijo Hills. He has been in treatment this year for leukemia and the money we raise will go into a research portfolio in his name. Ben’s mom Stephanie will also be training with us this season.
We are also running for another teammate Bernard Llave who is currently in treatment. Bernard is someone who has done a lot to raise awareness for the bone marrow registry. We are honored to race on his behalf.
If you have someone you’d like us to run or walk for, please let us know. We would be happy to add their name to our jerseys.
We each have our own reasons for making this big commitment. To tackle something bigger than ourselves and stake a claim for a better world – a world without blood cancers.
We’d love to have your support.
Please consider making a donation. Just go to www.sharesanmarcos.com/teamintraining and you will see a link where you can donate. You will also see links to everyone’s individual pages if you’d like to contribute to someone here in the neighborhood.
We are honored to represent San Elijo Hills and North County in making healthy choices, taking on bigger challenges and doing our part to ensure a future without blood cancers.