Archive for August, 2010
Tegla is a five foot tall wooden statue I bought in Tanzania in 1992. I saw her at a roadside market and asked the wood carver about her. She is made of ebony, an intensely black wood that is very heavy. Locally in the sub-Sahara, the “blackwood” tree is known as mpingo. It is known for its high density, fine texture and the ability to be polished to a very smooth finish. I gave the carver a large sum of cash to pay for her and shipping back to the States. He promised that she would arrive in one piece by the time I got home. My traveling companions just told me I got ripped off. They were wrong. I believed the wood carver and rightfully so. When I arrived home a few weeks later, there Tegla was – in a box on my doorstep…and in one piece. In the eighteen years since she arrived in the States she has been the center of all my living rooms. Some folks have their tv as the center – but for me, it’s been this life-size Tanzanian statue. My mother, known as Nana, always got a kick out of Tegla and we’d kid her that she was shorter than Tegla…and getting shorter every year.
Besides being a great source of entertainment for visiting family and friends, Tegla has been the wearer of my running and triathlon medals. And since 2002, when Laura moved in, Tegla’s served as the medal holder for both of us. Since we both were racing quite frequently, the weight of our finisher’s medals and awards were taking a toll on her and this pint-size Ebony queen appeared ready to tip over and come crashing down on our hardwood farm plank floor . We started placing the medals around her neck with the medallion part on her back to improve her balance.
In 2004 we took all of the medals off of Tegla for a count. Laura had been trying to convince me that I had run more than 100 marathons -a number I’d been telling people for years. The number turned out to be 153 marathons – or at least 153 of the medals around Tegla’s neck were from my marathons. Last night – six years after the big medal count of ’04 – we decided to strip Tegla of all of our medals once again and give her a much need breather. The stats so far: 420 medals pretty much split 50/50 between Laura’s various ultras and marathons and my runs and triathlons. Besides the medals, Tegla was wearing some Africna beaded bracelets, a safari hat complete with netting, a Canadian Maple Leaf Court jester hat, beneath that a Comrades cap and some Jamaican dreadlocks under that. Laura gave her a nice cleaning and oiling. All Tegla is wearing now is a simple beaded necklace and a prayer cloth that made it to the top of Everest when a friend summited in May. While the medals up to her neck were pretty comical I think it’s time to just let her look regal for a while or at least until somebody puts a witch’s hat on her for Halloween and antlers for Christmas.
When the following email and attachment (at left) was forward to me at work, I developed a big smile on my face and was reminded of my role as a mentor.
A quote from my book: “As runners, we each have a duty to accept the role as mentor to a slower runner or a new runner or someone who doesn’t think he or she can walk around the block, let alone finish a 5-K.”
Thanks Megan and see you at the races….
> Sent: Tuesday, August 03, 2010 9:58 AM
> To: Yasso, Bart
> Subject: Re: feedback + Something for Mr. Bart Yasso
>I wanted to let you know I love your magazine. I started off a non-runner. Pretty opposed to it really. My husband was one of those ”freaks” that tortured himself in that way- not me! I admired him for it but never ever thought I could be a runner. I got a subscription to Runner’s World for him as a present and found myself reading it. And loving it. And being inspired by it. I was also greatly inspired by Bart Yasso. I heard him speak at the Chicago Marathon World Vision dinner a couple years ago (my husband ran it) and found myself wanting to become a runner as I listened to him. I am still a long way off from marathons, but I am running none the less! At 30, I decided to go back to school for a few classes. One of my assignments was to design a poster depicting someone I find inspiring using only words. The first person that popped into my head was Bart. Attached is the poster I designed. I hope he knows what a great job he’s doing!
THANK YOU and CONGRATULATIONS to all walkers and runners who participated in, contributed to, or volunteered at the 2010 running of Fountain Hill’s annual George Yasso Memorial 5K Run and Walk.
Thank you to charitable donor Anne Marie Crown as well as MCS Industries for their prize donations as well as cash donations. A big thank you to John Crampsie for his continued outstanding level of financial support for our race.
CONGRATULATIONS to our outstanding scholar-athlete award winners! Jim Skelly/George Yasso Fountain Hill Scholarship recipient: Marisa Repasch, $1,000
Hurricane Club Male recipients: Joey Lasko and John Cann, $500 each, and Hurricane Club Female recipient:
Erica Shumock, $1,000. Additionally, a donation of $500 wil be going to the Hurricane Basketball Club.
Thank you to the Borough of Fountain Hill, the Police Department, Public Works Department, the Volunteer Fire Department and St. Luke’s Rescue and Transport Service. as well as the Founta Hill Democratic Club and the Liberty Girls and Boys basketball teams for volunteering and all others who gave of their time, talent and energy to make our event a continuing success. And thank you to the runners, and walkers who make this event what it is, a fun and healthy rite of summer in the borough of Fountain Hill.
Thanks to those who contributed running shoes for Haiti. Check our Facebook page for additional drop-off locations. Our Facebook GEORGE YASSO Memorial 5K Run & Walk 2010 event page at: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=128629320503898&ref=search
STATS: We had a total of 155 registered runners with 133 starters. Forty percent of the entrants were female. Like last year, we had a large number of walkers (yeah for walkers!) as well as youth; 30 of our runners nd walkers were age 18 or younger. We are proud of our 5K kids!
Congratulations to our three random pre-registered women who each won a gift certificate from Running Skirts (www.runningskirts.com): Andrea Keenan, Jenny Kuntz, and Taylor Valentin. Rock those skirts!
PHOTOS! You can order race photos from Alice Lipe at: www.photosbyajlipe.com
If you have questions or notice errors in the race results, please contact me.
The 2011 race date will be announced next spring. Stay tuned!
2010 Race Results: