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.
In 2004 The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and Nike came together to launch the first Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco to benefit LLS. The success of the inaugural event cemented the event and has become an annual run. Recently Nike added a second event - the Nike Women's Marathon in Washington DC and the North Texas Chapter created the Coast to Coast Challenge. Becky Sherstad was on the first North Texas TEAM to participate in the first year of the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco.
What is your favorite memory of TNT?
So many great memories! One that always stands out is the amazing support given to TNT participants during an event. Hearing "GO TEAM" yelled all along the course is so inspiring! There are so many spectators & supporters who truly, truly appreciate what you are doing because they or a loved one has fought a battle against blood cancer. They are the reason I run!
What brought you to TNT originally?
After doing volunteer work in schools while our children were young, I was looking for a new outlet for that energy when they graduated from HS. Team in Training offered me that outlet and a perfect way to honor my Grandmother and a friend who had both courageously battled blood cancers. I signed on in 2001 to do the Bermuda Marathon and got my husband to join me!
What about TNT makes you keep coming back?
The people: the participants, the coaches, the staff, and all the courageous Honored Heroes. I have met so many wonderful, dedicated, inspirational people through Team in Training. It is a great way to develop lifelong friendships with amazing people while staying fit and helping others.
What do you want to see in the next 20 years for TNT in North Texas?
I would love to see TNT continue to grow in North Texas. It is a great program and an invaluable source of research dollars. It is so exciting to hear about advances that have been made in the battle against blood cancer and know that our TNT fundraising is making a difference. What a great way to honor those who fight the real battles!
What was the best part of the 2004 Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco?
The hills of San Francisco - challenging! The scenery - breathtaking! A marathon for women - empowering! Ghiradelli chocolate on the course and a Tiffany necklace at the finish - amazing! NTX Honored Hero Meg Brown at the Finish wearing her Half Marathon medal - even more amazing! Honoring loved ones who have battled blood cancers - rewarding! Running with my daughter by my side, both wearing purple singlets - priceless! (When I ran the Anchorage Marathon in 2002, she ran the relay with other family members. Her comment after the race: the next time I run, I'm going to wear a purple singlet! She was amazed at the TNT support! She has since completed many TNT events.)
How many events have you done with TNT?
I have done 25 TNT events. Full Marathons: Bermuda, Anchorage, White Rock, San Diego, Arizona, SF Nike, Twin Cities, Dublin, San Antonio, Disney, Paris, NYC and Madrid. Numerous Half Marathons and Relays. Last June I rallied my family as a team to Hike Yosemite Half Dome with TNT......in honor of my 25th TNT event we raised $25,000! I am currently training for the Vancouver Marathon.