Sunday, November 23, 2008

TNT isn't just about running, you know.

For me, it has been, but are two (soon to be 3) other events that you can participate in to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma.

Triathlons: Swim 1km, bike 53km, then run 8km. I'd do this one too, but I don't swim. Maybe someday.

Biking (also known as Century Rides): Bike over 100 miles. I witnessed this yesterday (more to come)- simply amazing.

AND, coming in the 2009 season, hiking: Hike across the Grand Canyon, or hike the Rocky Mountains or Smokey Mountains.

Yesterday, after our training run and some breakfast, I decided to head down to the finisher's tent of the El Tour de Tucson. Over 8,000 people participate in this bicycle event, over 500 of them from Team in Training. They started at 7:30 in the morning, and rode 109 miles. Yes. 109 miles. I was lucky enough to witness the winners cross the finish line (in 4 hours)- they had police escorts, pace cars, etc. You know when you watch the Olympics or other events on TV and they have a motorcycle cops and cars, with lights on escorting the riders in the lead? Yeah, that. About a minute later, a pack of 5 chasers came in, followed by a thunderous ROAR of at least 200 bikers, all fighting for the lead. Insanity wouldn't even begin to describe it.

So, when you do a Team in Training event, there's a "Finisher's Tent" near the finish line. This is where you go to check in after your event and to get some food and sit down, check your bike in, etc. I was lucky enough to see all of the TNT riders come streaming in after they'd ridden 109 miles. It was so much fun to hand out sandwiches and water, soft drinks and chips to these people who worked SO HARD to raise money and then complete this endurance event.

How lucky am I to live in a city where we host a TNT event? And this is a BIG event as far as cycling goes- we had people from chapters all over the country: Silicon Valley, San Francisco, L.A., San Diego, Desert Mountain States (Phoenix and Arizona), North/Central/South Texas, Ohio, Illinois (30 people came from this chapter!), Long Island, Northern Jersey, and my favorite: Central Pennsylvania (they put big plush Hershey Kisses on their helmets to identify themselves. Loved it).

I left sometime around 4pm, and maybe half the riders were in. That's a long time to be on a bike, but how satisfying to finish and know that you made a difference in cancer patients' lives.

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