Saturday, January 25, 2014

20 Years of Team In Training: 2000

2014 is a special year for the North Texas Team In Training (TNT) campaign.  It is celebrating 20 years of running, biking, and hiking to raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and it's mission to find a cure for blood cancers.  Saturday, Feburary 8th TNT will kick off a year of celebrating.  To honor the thousands of North Texas TNT alumni and the millions of dollars they raised in that time, we are going to count down each year of the program leading up to the TNT Alumni "Celebrate You" event on Feburary 8th. 

North Texas' Team In Training program went international in 2000.  The first international team headed to Beijing for a marathon.  Ever since that first year, the international teams have been very popular with North Texas athletes.  Candice Stinnett just completed her first marathon with Team In Training in Paris and talks about the experience.

What is your favorite memory of TNT?
The inspiring sea of purple singlets during a race; that spirit of every TNT'er shouting "Go Team! Whoohoo!!" on the course; the dedicated coaches who are ultimately the reason I finish events; and the roller coaster of emotions that engulf you when cross that finish line. I believe every person should have this experience at least once in their lives. 

What brought you to TNT originally?
Being a blood cancer survivor, I received a flyer in the mail about Team In Training. I set it aside and put it on my list of things to do. I saw photos on Facebook of Team In Training participants but signed up after hearing another cancer survivor's story about finishing a half marathon. I knew that if another survivor was able to put aside the effects of cancer treatments and participate in an endurance event, I could do it too. My only regret is not joining earlier.

What about TNT makes you keep coming back?
TNT has become a way of life for me. I see myself being involved every year whether it be participating in an event, mentoring, coaching, donating to a friend or stranger, or standing at the finish line cheering on my family in purple. One way or another, I will always to be involved.

What do you want to see in the next 20 years for TNT in North Texas?
In 20 years I hope to see people participating in TNT not in hopes to find a cure for cancer but celebrating that we have found our cure for cancer.

What was the best part of the Paris Marathon?
Being in Paris, France was not only an incredibly cultural experience in itself but the lifelong friends I made began the second I stepped inside our team hotel. I met people from all across the world. We were all there for one goal. The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and the streets of Champs-Elysees were just an added bonus to the most inspiring, motivating and loving friends I made.

How many events have you done with TNT?

Two Team In Training events are in the books for me but I have completed countless other endurance events that I never thought possible because of TNT. My first TNT event was my very first full marathon in Paris, France (April 2013). I ran my second marathon in San Francisco, CA at the Nike Women's San Francisco Marathon where I met and ran the entire marathon with my donor who helped save my life from cancer (October 2013). And, I am currently mentoring for the spring 2014 season. I just signed up to complete my first triathlon in Irving, TX for the summer 2014 season! GO TEAM!! 

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