Sunday, January 26, 2014

20 Years of Team In Training: 2001

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. 

Karen Rankin did not intend to sign up for Team In Training when she attended an information meeting in 2001.  Once she heard about the mission of LLS and noticed that it tied directly into the volunteer work she had been doing at Children's Hospital, she couldn't help but sign up.  She started training in 2001 and ran her first event in 2002.  More than a decade later, she is still raising money for LLS through Team In Training.

What is your favorite memory of TNT?
My favorite memories continue to be the friendships I have made over many miles we have run together. Today my closets and best friends are those I have meet through team in training.  We have become like a small family of people who are there for each other.

What brought you to TNT originally?
A good friend asked that I come and support her at the Team in Training kickoff event.  She knew that I volunteered at Children’s medical center working mainly with kids who had cancer.  Nancy’s goal was to get me to sign up, my goal for the day was to be there to support her.  As the event was coming to a close the final presentation was done by non other than Elizabeth and her mom.  Here up on stage was the little girl, I worked with at Children’s, she stood in front of a thousand people, brave and strong fighting for her life.  As her mom finished her presentation Elizabeth looked over the crowd, flashing her adorable heartfelt smile and gave a little wave as she walked off stage to a roaring crowd in front of her. 

What about TNT makes you keep coming back?

The friendships that I have formed over the years, we’ve become a family.  It is also a great feeling to know that every Saturday morning, I have the privilege to get up and help others make a difference in the lives of those with blood cancer.

What do you want to see in the next 20 years for TNT in North Texas?

Besides a cure for blood cancers, an understanding of where the cancer comes from and how we can one day prevent it via a vaccine.

What was the best part of the 2002 Disney World Half Marathon?
The best part of the event was crossing the finish line with my one of my best friends (Valarie Pike) and seeing my family.  This was my first event and the first year team in training offered half marathon training program.  I was amazed and thrilled that I did it, I just ran 13.1 miles but more importantly I made a difference in the lives of so many through my fundraising.  

In 2009, I ran this event again in memory of my father, Bob Rankin.  I raised $12,000 that year for TNT and was the top fundraiser in North Texas.

How many Team In Training events have you done?
12 Walt Disney World Marathons
Anchorage Marathon
San Diego Marathon
Tahoe Century Ride
Lone Star Half Ironman Triathlon

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