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 its mission to find a cure for blood cancers. Saturday, February 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 the last 20 years, we are going to count down each year of the program leading up to the TNT Alumni "Celebrate You" event on February 8th.
What is your favorite memory of TNT?
I love all the people I have met and the feeling I get every time I get a donation. The email notification feels like a little bit of love in my inbox every time. This past holiday season I wrapped gifts at Barnes and Noble as a fundraiser. A kid who was about 12 gave us a $100 donation. I am sure the money was from his dad, but it was so nice to see a kid of that age giving such a large and thoughtful gift. I think every new memory becomes my favorite part of Team In Training. I love everything about it!
What brought you to TNT originally?
I lost my stepdad to leukemia in 2000. After that I was looking for a way to deal with my grief. I found Light The Night and did that a few times with a group of students I was teaching. I coordinated the Pennies for Patients drive in my school and one day ended up with a flyer in the mail about Team In Training. I had a friend who had run a marathon with TNT the year before and I thought she was BONKERS for running 26 miles. When I got the flyer, I really wanted to do it but it was the last semester of my masters degree and I was working full time, waiting tables and had no idea how I could add one more thing to my plate. I looked for some guidance from above and the next day received another TNT flyer in the mail from TNT. I decided that I had obviously been sent a message from above! TNT loooked fun and is a great way to give back and learn something new. I was a swimmer growing up and doing a thriathlon would be a great way to still be able to swim as an adult. I went to a meeting in Southlake and signed up right away.
What about TNT makes you keep coming back?
I keep coming back because there isn't a cure yet. I love the lifestyle, I love the camaraderie of the team and that we are all there for the same reason - to do something good for us and something even better for other people.
What do you want to see in the next 20 years for TNT in North Texas?
I would like to see TNT disappear because a cure will have been found. If that doesn't happen, then I would like to see the program explode and have groups of people training all over the place.
What was the best part of your first event?
When I did the Capital of Texas Triathlon in Austin in 2003 the whole thing was awesome. I had a grea time from start to finish. That morning there had been a massive storm and were were abotu to head out from teh hotel and there were talks of canceling the swim portion. Thankfully that did not happen. The skies cleared up and it was a beautiful day. My favorite part was crossing that finish line. I had raised several thousand dollars and had also completed an olympic distance triathlon. I was really emotional at the end of the race. My family and friends were there to watch me do the race. I made so many great friends along the season - 11 years later and I still keep in touch with most of them.
How many events have you done with TNT?
20 events in total:
Capital of Texas Triathlon - 2003, 2004, 2005
Kings Trail Triathlon - 2008
Big Kahuna Half Ironman - 2006
Si[er Seal Triathlon - 2011
Ironman Texas 70.3 - 2011
America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride - 2006, 2007, 2013
El Tour de Tuscon - 2008
Nike Women's Half Marathon - 2006, 2008, 2013
Anchorage - 2012
Rock N Roll San Antonio - 2008
White Rock Marathon - 2003, 2004, 2008
Nike Women's Marathon DC - 2014
Dublin Marathon - 2007
Pacific Grove Triathlon - 2006
St. Anthony's Triathlon