I guess I should start with congratulations. This has been an incredible fall racing season. I've cheered so much and so hard over the past few weeks my voice may never be the same. I was repeatedly struck by the determination of all the race participants—incredibly goal-oriented people who trained so hard for race day. To see the focus and grit on everyone's faces in the toughest part of their races is awesome. To see them reach down deep within themselves to find a strength they never knew they had is inspiring. To watch all the runners in that moment—that is why I coach.
When I first started coaching, I was told that I’d never have an athlete who loves the sport as much as I do. But what I’ve come to realize over the years that it isn’t simply the running that I love so much; it’s the people who run. The athletes I get to work with and cheer for are what inspire me. And for that, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for always pushing me to be better.
An athlete once told me that to some people it seems that all coaches do is write workouts and cheer until they lose their voices; but really, coaches are writing futures.
To those of you for whom I was able to cheer on race day: you all made your futures come to fruition, and I am so glad that I was there to see it happen.
To those of you who chased you goals over the past couple of weeks: take some time to soak up the moment. I have been fortunate enough to be associated with some amazing individuals and teams, and I've learned the one thing that can make this sport tiresome is forgetting to sit back and truly appreciate your accomplishments. Make sure you take time to enjoy this experience before you set your mind on the next mountain.
To those of you who have yet to race: build on and be inspired by the successes of those who have run their races already.
And to those looking for one more opportunity to race: the St. Louis Track Club Half Marathon is just around the corner. Sign up, line up, and test your resolve on the hills of Clayton. (You just may see a skinny guy out there cheering himself hoarse again.)
Thank you, again, to everyone for continually reminding me why I coach. Your resolve makes all the work worthwhile.
Good Luck and Happy Racing!
Tim Cary is FLEET FEET's Assistant Training Manager, coach of the FLEET FEET-sponsored Runnababez Elite team, and manager of the FLEET FEET Racing Team. Over his 20 years of coaching, Tim has coached athletes to three national team championships, five national individual championships, two national records, and numerous All-American and All-State honors. Click here to receive Tim's weekly article via email.