The journey starts here…

The big day finally arrived–training #1 for the South Bay Run Team! This day is always a mix of excitement and nerves, as newbies come to the trail wondering what the morning will bring, and the veteran runners are eager to reconnect with old friends, as well as meet the new teammates, with whom they’ll get to bond over many miles, ice baths, and sore muscles.

As always, the coaches divided the group into three different groups for the very first run: more experienced runners going 4-6 miles, less experienced runners going 3-4, and those completely new to running going 2 miles. As mentors, we’re asked to lead these groups to make sure that no participant feels alone or overwhelmed.

I had the pleasure of run/walking with one of the people in my mentor group, Mayra, who isn’t entirely new to running (she ran cross-country in high school), but has been away from it for a while and felt a bit apprehensive going into the first run. I’m happy to say she kicked but and looked great out there on the trail!

As did all my other “mentees,” some of whom I met last week at the season kick-off, and others, such as Nicole, whom I met for the first time yesterday. I’m very lucky because once again, I’ve got some great peeps in my mentor group, so this looks to be a fun season ahead.

There was a very special ending to the run, though. Kendra, who happens to be Coach Tim’s daughter, was celebrating her 18th birthday yesterday, and as she has every weekend for what seems like forever, she manned one of the water stops for us. What an extraordinary volunteer! We made sure to give her her props by surprising her with a cake and a chorus of “Happy Birthday.” We’re sorry to be losing her (as she is off to college very soon), but are grateful for the selfless volunteering she’s done for TNT all this time!

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