Running With Joanie

First I used my free ticket to see this film last night.  The room was filled with women runners, of course – many of whom I recognized from races. I sat with some women from the SRMs.  I also chatted with a professor that I work with, someone in my tennis contract and a former student at the law school.  The room was mostly full but I am sure that many more people would have come if they had known about it.

Joanie & the winners before the movie (photo by Peter Thomas)

They announced the 3 grand prize winners and they were on stage to tell their stories:

  • a women who runs to raise money for LLS in memory of her young daughter who had died from the disease
  • a women who beat depression & breast cancer through running
  • a young women who had a serious brain injury…was in a coma, thought not to live, not to speak and of course, never walk…she is training for her 1st 5K

Everyone was moved including Joanie.

The movie was just as inspiring.  Joanie has a great story to tell.  I highly recommend seeing it if it comes to your town.

They gave out Nike water bottles randomly to some of the attendees.  I got one and it had a $25 gift card to Hannaford supermarkets. Yay me!

And yes, I was inspired by the women on stage and by Joanie’s movie.  I couldn’t wait to go out and run!!

The next morning, I headed out for my RUN with Joanie.  It was held at the Corning Bike Trail (where I run often.) The weather was sunny and in the 60’s – PERFECT!!

They said to get there at 8:00 am for the event.  I arrived a little early and walked around to stretch my legs.

early morning sun on the Hudson river

perfect weather for a run

Joanie was warming up before the run

I followed the signs for the run and waited for all the runners to arrive.

Joanie signing autographs

ME and Joanie!!

Eventually we started the run.  There were a lot of photographers and videographers.

waiting to begin (photo by Hazel)

starting our run (photo by Peter Thomas)

I had wanted to run the whole thing! It was supposed to a flat out and back 3 miles.

Unfortunately, my body disagreed.  My first mile was too fast and the 3rd mile turned into 3.27 miles with an ending UP over a bridge and back UP over it.

my splits

As you can see, I ran until about 2.75 miles and walked and then after mile 3, I walked up the hill over the bridge so that I could finish strong. (I finished the 3 miles in 30:59 and the run in 33 minutes)

The best part was that Joanie tried to run with each of us.  And she did.  She ran up to me and said “Your stride is really strong” and then she commented on my Freihofer shirt. So I told her about my injury and that shirt was symbolic of my return to running.

waiting for everyone to finish (photo by Hazel)

In the end, Joanie finished with Abby, the runner who had suffered a brain injury.  It brought everyone to tears as we watched her complete her longest run ever!

Abby & Joanie

They took a lot of group photos (individual ones also at the finish)

Abby (nicknamed Bambi) gets a stuffed Bambi (photo by Hazel)

And I am so glad I had this opportunity.  It was worth missing the US Open.

Happy Running!  Have you ever run with someone famous?

9 thoughts on “Running With Joanie

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