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On the Run with Sam: You Can Always Be Part of the Team

On the Run with Sam: You Can Always Be Part of the Team

Sorry I missed last month but I’m back!

I’m following up on the running theme of team that I presented earlier this year. We’ve talked about teammates and physical teams, but now I want to touch on the importance of teamwork.

In April, though I was injured, I participated (as the “bus” driver) in Seneca 7 -- a 77.7-mile foot race around the lake made up of 7 teammates running three legs each throughout a day. 

I was sad that I was missing out on the opportunity to show up and race for my team, but I knew that I was making the right choice not to push past my limits.

It wasn’t until the morning of the race that it was decided that I would be driving the minivan with our 7 runners instead of my own car as a cheerleader along the course.

Little did we know how important this decision was. 

The race went well. Really well. My team, UARE, finished ninth out of nearly 300 teams. There were few hiccups along the way since Andrew, one of our teammates, had created an Excel spreadsheet that everyone dreams of when doing races like these. He had travel time, run time, pit-stop time, and winery-stop timing all calculated perfectly that made the day go smoothly. There was only one spot where runners got lost. This, of course, happened while it was raining! And our “speedy” designation flag fell off making us run around to find it, buy towels, and redirect off course runners.

The original plan was for the seven runners to rotate drivers throughout the race. The race proved to be more exhausting than originally thought as sitting in a minivan with seven other people for 12+ hours does something to your muscles as you wait between running legs.

I felt awful that I couldn’t run, but in the end, I was thankful to have made the process run smoothly (for the most part). After the race we drove back to Albany where my friends shared their gratitude for my driving. 

In this situation, teamwork really did make the dream work. With my driving and the runner that filled my spot, we were able to secure a great finish and enjoy our well-deserved wine. 

Samantha Simmons

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