Editor’s note: InMenlo contributing photographers Irene Searles and Laura Hamilton ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon last weekend. Irene trained with Fleet Feet Menlo Park. Last night the training teams gathered for a celebration party. Fleet Feet co-owner Lisa Taggart shared some thoughts:
We had 156 people registered through our class. There were 135 race registrations through us, plus about 10 to 15 more who had gotten in through the lottery. We ended up having 99 ride the bus up with us. (Some people stayed in the City Saturday night.)
This was our biggest training group ever. We had 10 coaches including Kendrick Ribeiro as head coach, leading strength training and conditioning. He was designated King of the Hill and worked on the hill workouts and did the videos. I was also really impressed with Speed Coach Naomi Morita’s track workouts — she made it fun, liked the banana relay.
Most of the coaches have joined the coaching team after running with us as participants for several years. That’s true for Soraya Azevedo, Emily Bayer, Sonia Sethi, and Rachelle Albini, who has been running and coaching for us the longest. The fact that all of the coaches care so much and put so much into it is what makes it such a special program, I think.
I count 18 first time half marathoners, and and I have six confirmed personal records: Alba Hogado, Margaret Distler, Coach Emily Bayer, Karen Bowers, Amanda Sorenson, Naomi Morita, Marcy Berding. I think there may be more.
We had Jarrett Tong from Nike come to several training runs, and Whole Foods (though race sponsorship) supported some of the runs with food. Lauren from Vibe Yoga was a big hit with her post-run stretch clinic.
I love doing the training programs — there were so many happy people Sunday! Going through the training together — because it is hard — creates really powerful connections. That’s the part that I love. Also some of the friendships are pairings that wouldn’t happen otherwise — people who wouldn’t cross paths otherwise connect over running!
Photo by Nick Clinton