What a season! It started in Long Beach, California and from there, it has been a whirlwind tour for me. So much so, I've been distant from a blog entry. This is my attempt to recap my debut with USA TODAY Sports Active Alliance (and everything in between).
What is USA TODAY Sports Active Alliance?
For those of you who may be new, the USATSAA is the new endurance race tour. This can be taken as biased but I'm saying it is the BEST tour out there based on,
2. Overall Experience
3. Geographic Location
What makes it so unique is NONE of these events were reated specifically for the tour. These events have been established independently and were chosen for the tour. 16 events, some with a substantial history, have become the USA TODAY Sports Active Alliance tour. This was the first year of the tour (ending this weekend at the California International Marathon in Sacramento). I came on board as a Premiere Ambassador toward the end of this Summer.
Once I came on board, I was given some administration work along with a few on-site trips. I eased into the work starting with the expo endeavor with the US Bank Orange County Marathon crew in Long Beach, CA. This was a nice orientation to get me ready for the,
Indianapolis, Indiana - I've really never been to this part of the Midwest, which is why I was extremely excited for this one. A bonus (or stressor pending on your perspective), was the fact that this was the first time Indy was a complete sellout! There were approximately 20,000 participants in this Midwest Classic. Our booth was in conjunction with Mazda during the 2-day expo.
After the 2-day expo, I got to see, as a spectator, what 20,000 runners look like. That is a lot of people. The administration side of a race is quite different, yet can be equally as exhausting, as the running itself. A variety of tasks, which I won't bore you with, need be done in order to make the event run smoothly. With that said, I did get a chance to get a snap of the famous, Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, the icon of the race, in downtown Indianapolis.
The event looked to be well organized overall with great scenery throughout. Temperatures were between the 40s-50s made it an ideal running setting. Actually, I was quite surprised it was this warm in this part of the country considering it was November. I also learned that Indy happens to be the home of the NCAA and USA Track & Field. I won't mind coming back to Indy in the future. There is a lot more there than I realized.
So, if I have done a good job with my story telling so far, I've gone from Southern California to Indiana and now a few days later, I'm in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas for the South Padre Marathon.
This was the #Runcation destination run. The expo lasted a day for this one. It was quite the adventure as well. The host hotel and expo location was the Schiltterbahn Water Park & Resort, literally on the beach next to the Gulf of Mexico. There was plenty of water everywhere. 🙂
Like in any well ran event, you roll with what Nature gives you. The expo went on. We had a very good time at the booth. Our best interactive tool we had with is was the writing wall. It was a simple banner in which runners and participants could write on. There was solely one question,
Why Do You Run?
Who knew something so simple would be such a BIG draw. It was...and my time fly even faster than usual. That day was a complete blur until the very end. As part of administration, you're not guaranteed to be able to run. Certain tasks must be accomplished in order to get the green light. At the end of the day, I got the green light. I got to be a runner too! When I can, I like to do 13.1.
If a PR is What You're Looking For....
...do not be part of administration. LOL. It was quite the task to complete that day, but it wasn't due to weather. It was PERFECT conditions for a runner in the fall. Start slightly before dawn, cloudy, ocean breeze, with temperatures in the 60s-70s. In my opinion, it couldn't have been a better setting for a half. I was able to log in my first official USA TODAY Sports Active Alliance event as a RUNNER at South Padre Island, TX. Good times indeed.
USATF Level 1 Coaching Clinic
One week after South Padre, I found myself back in the state of Texas. This time, it was at the North side of that state. Specifically, I was in the Dallas/Ft Worth Metroplex area of Allen, TX (a northeast suburban area of DFW). The zeal for running has found me wanting to learn how to teach it. I already have a personal training, sports conditioning background, so I thought I was fully prepared for the USA Track & Field Level 1 Coaching Clinic.
"A Coach is Part Scientist and Part Artist"
This was my main takeaway of the entire 2-day event. It made SO MANY "hanging" threads in my business tie together. As much as I know about anatomy, physics, and physiology, it does not mean much if I cannot communicate about various topics in a manner that is comprehensive to clients and athletes alike. You can call it an "aha" moment. I found this workshop completely worth the investment and could very well change my way of business. Though USATF teaches more variety than endurance runs, I found it helpful to point me in the right direction.
OKC Turkey Tracks 5k
It had been almost 2 weeks removed from the South Padre event. Runners do what they do. It was nice to be back in OKC (FINALLY). This 5k's start/finish line was by the OKC Memorial. Last time I was there was when I did my one and only Marathon. It was good to be back. I'll participating in the Half variety this upcoming April.
As I stated before, it has been quite the ride this fall. Time to focus on Holidays, training and coaching clients, as well condition myself for the upcoming running season. Until next time, set your mind and keep it set. 🙂