dear friends & supporters...

i wanted to share with you all an inspiring letter my friend, KK, wrote after completing the NY marathon for the first time! pretty incredible accomplishment. . . i am an so in awe of her strength and commitment. if you haven't checked out Every Mother Counts. . . you must do so, an incredible organization dedicated to making pregnancy and child birth safe for every mother. Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 11.29.10 AM Dear Friends, Now that the record breaking wind has died down and the dust has settled, I'm still smiling (more so by the day in fact) when I think of my TCS NYC MARATHON experience.  The weather was, as everyone knows, challenging, making the 26.2 miles even more intimidating to me.  I didn't know what to expect but I knew, after all my training, that I was going to finish. What I wasn't so sure about was how much fun it was going to be.  If this was going to be my one and only marathon experience, I wanted to love it.  As I'd long said, the marathon was the one NY party I'd never been to. The weather reports made enjoyment seem impossible. The wait on Staten Island to start was stressful; We stood for hours in our heavy-duty layers of clothing, bundled up on a muddy field - not the ideal conditions to start a long run. Luckily I was with my EVERY MOTHER COUNTS teammates, many of them highly experienced marathoners, and together we laughed our way through it until our respective start times.  I was in the last wave, the slowest runners, (zero ego here).  There was the predictable but still rousing blast of "New York New York" followed by the National Anthem followed by the start sound of a cannon - it was magnificent! We began our journey across the Verrazano Bridge and were pelted with bits of wind blown debris from the start village - it was like the tornado in the Wizard of Oz. Again, nothing to do but laugh and run, and peel off the outer layer of clothes.  The wind started to settle and the sun was peeking out as we came into Brooklyn. I was told by everyone who'd ever run the NYC Marathon that First Avenue would be the most memorable stretch of the marathon. For me, it was Brooklyn. The spirit of every neighborhood was overwhelmingly joyful.  Music, signs, high fives, and lots of love for every runner. Lafayette Avenue was the first place I saw Maya and Reid with their signs, cheering me on, so very proud to see their mother running toward them (how often does that happen?!).  It was one of the highlights of the day for me and of course I got all choked up.  We hugged it out and I continued on, knowing I'd see them again at Mile 23. The course was difficult, famously so, but still I was surprised at the seemingly endless length of the uphills.  I saw real athletes, senior citizens with a lifetime of marathon finishes tallied on their shirts, and runners from every imaginable country.  The most inspiring were the ACHILLES INTERNATIONAL athletes; Facing enormous physical challenges, they fought their way through the course with support from teammates. I won't forget their resolve or the selflessness of their teammates. In this time of horrific news from around the globe, the uniquely life affirming side of New York City was on full display. There were great signs: Toenails are for Losers; Pain is Temporary, Instagram is Forever; My Wife is My Super Hero; Pain Now Margaritas Later; and my favorites, the Go Mom Go signs, held by countless little kids throughout the five boroughs. The weather in the end was perfect, and I loved every mile of the race (except for the last three during which I wondered why not just I but anyone would every willingly participate in such painful insanity). The finish line couldn't come soon enough.  I was happy to cross it and be greeted by a friend, one of the many excellent NEW YORK ROAD RUNNERS VOLUNTEERS, who hugged me wrapped me in a heat sheet.  For my whole New York life I've watched people limping home on a Sunday in November wrapped in Mylar.  Finally I was one of them! TEAMEMC, 74 women and 27 men, raised over $330,000 during this NY Marathon, all of which will go directly back into life-saving programs to ensure pregnant and laboring women have access to critical maternity care.  Besides my very cool medal, I am most gratified by having helped make that happen thanks to your generosity and support. I'm elated that I had this opportunity and wanted to thank you once again for sponsoring me. Cheers! xx Kathryn Kellinger Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 11.29.21 AM Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 11.29.31 AM
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