Written by Mandy Howard
"If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.” ― Kathrine Switzer
Sunday proved to be a perfect morning for racing, and the Fleet Feet team represented big time in Corning at the Wineglass half and full marathon. After a wet and dreary Saturday, runners were greeted with the weather we've been begging for all summer. After months of training in some of the most humid conditions CNY has ever experienced, our team was rewarded with cooler temperatures and a beautiful fall backdrop in southern New York. Being a point to point race, half marathoners start in Campbell, 13 miles north of Corning, and the marathoners begin 26 miles away in the small town of Bath. Everyone is required to take a very early morning shuttle to their start lines, and then run (of course) to the finish on Main Street where they are greeted by their cheering families and local residents.
The Fleet Feet team was comprised of about a dozen marathoners and over 40 half marathoners, some experienced and some first timers. The "orange & black" racing team was there to cheer on the squad and watch our friends cross the finish line. As a coach, this is the absolute BEST part of my job. Looking back at Week 1 at our first workout, someone asked "Am I really going to be able to do this?" Doubt, insecurity, nervousness, are all part of the package when you sign up for your first long distance race and it is my responsibility to help push those fears aside to be able to concentrate on the task at hand. I was overwhelmed with pride as I watched our athletes achieve their goals this weekend. Tears were shed, and pain was endured, but after a long arduous journey, a beautiful Corning glass medal was hung around their neck. Thank YOU to the Fleet Feet runners for inspiring ME and the rest of our coaching staff to be brave and to do great things. Now go celebrate your accomplishment!
"How can I properly thank someone that gave me confidence in myself I have NEVER had?? I am so so grateful for you pushing me WAY outside my comfort zone. Today I am a MARATHONER and never ever would have done this without Fleet Feet. Thank you." - Sue Little
"I'm not sure I have the exact words to express my gratitude to ALL of the coaches from Fleet Feet. Each one of you has a special presence about you that makes each and every FF runner feel motivated and empowered. To add to that-- The camaraderie of this team is like no other. It was so awesome to see familiar faces throughout the course. I mean what other long distance group has coaches and fellow FF runners travel just to cheer?!?!! You guys ROCK." - Mari Shoen