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The post below was originally posted by Kevin Leathers, coach for Team McGraw.  Apart from being an experienced and knowledgeable athlete and guide, he also inspires our team with his spirit and dedication.  Read more from Coach Kevin in his blog titled "Can't Stop."

 


 

Sunday, October 11th, 2009 - The Chicago Marathon was awesome. After two years of hot weather and spoiled races Chicago finally enjoyed nearly ideal marathoning conditions. The race started with chilly temps in the low 30s but warmed to a sunny 45. Cold for spectators but perfect for running 26.2 miles.

 

I was on the sidelines this year coaching Team McGraw. It can be tough sitting out watching the battle but I thoroughly enjoyed cheering for Team McGraw. Our weekend started with the Pre-Race Pasta Dinner on Saturday. This is the first opportunity for everyone to meet the rest of the Team. Besides getting acquainted and sharing nervous race eve chatter, the runners share their reasons for running with Team McGraw. Their stories are always heartfelt and humbling. It is easy to see where their motivation to train, race and raise funds for brain tumor research originates. No coach on earth could deliver a better pre-game locker room speech!

 

Race morning started out chilly. We met at our traditional spot on Michigan Ave for Team pictures around 6:15 am. This convenient spot is also in close proximity to a somewhat-secret indoor, heated restroom. (Don't ask...I am forbidden from providing specific information!)  Once the runners headed into Grant Park my good friend Doug (who served as our official photographer) and i headed out to find coffee and a good place to watch the race. We ended up at several locations: 1K, 5k, 20k and the last stretch from 23 - 25 miles. We would watch the elites fly past then wait and try to spot as many Team McGraw runners as we could.

 

The thrill and positive karma achieved cheering on runners attempting to scale their personal mountains is amazing. Many runners write their name on the front of their shirt so they can hear positive feedback all day: "Go (fill in your name)!" Or they have a school name, city, sports team or other personal identifier: "Go Bears!", "Go Irish!", "Go Fat Guy Running club!" (yes, I saw that one) It became a mission to cheer for as many as i could spot. Hopefully they received a small dose of encouragement, distraction or motivation. There was much feedback from the runners: thumbs up, smiles, fist pump, the occasional  

shout back. My favorite was the startled look of "hey, do i know you??" as their marathon-numbed minds forgot that they had scribbled their name in 4 inch letters across their chest. I was in a very dark place in the final mile of a marathon over 15 years ago when a random stranger offered me a shout: "This is why you ran all those miles!! Finish this last mile!!" I can tell you the exact place he was standing and what he looked like. It helped and i have attempted to pay it forward ever since. If you get the chance to stand along the last few miles of a marathon give it a try.

 

 

I am proud to say that our entire Team finished and all achieved personal bests!  I left Chicago proud, rejuvenated and humbled. And the best part? I get to do it again in three weeks when Team McGraw attacks the New York City marathon for the third time! Can't wait!

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For those of you that often find yourselves poking around for friends and photographs on Facebook, you can now find “Team McGraw”  alive and well inside the popular social network.

 

Many of our runners from previous events have already found their way into the fold, sharing their links to their own pages and favorite shots from past team events.  Others are currently training to meet an upcoming athletic goal as a part of Team McGraw.  Still others have not yet donned the red-and-white regalia that distinguishes those that have laced up their shoes with us before...and we are happy to share our “home away from home” with them and appreciate their support!

 

Find regular updates, photo galleries, video clips, group discussion, training pointers, info on upcoming events, and plenty of other fun and fodder through the following Facebook page links:

 

"Become a Fan" of our "Team McGraw" FAN page.

 

Drop by and join our "Team McGraw" GROUP page.

 

Ya gotta believe...

 

Jeff McMahon

Director/Runner

Team McGraw

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Team McGraw is an endurance sports training program supporting the Tug McGraw Foundation's mission to fund projects that raise awareness and improve the quality of life for children and adults affected by debilitating neuroscience conditions such as brain tumors and traumatic brain injury.  Through Team McGraw, dedicated participants find the tools to meet their athletic goals while honoring the struggles of friends, families, and in many cases, even themselves as they confront brain tumors or brain trauma.

 

432 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: new, york, marathon, endurance, half-marathon, charity, half_marathon, runner, new_york, cancer, foundation, mcgraw, tug_mcgraw_foundation, tug, team_mcgraw, brain, trauma, tumor

Crank up your training and join Team McGraw in 2010 for an exciting return to the Country Music Marathon and Half Marathon in Nashville on April 24, 2010!


Live music will set the stage…or actually…set 27 STAGES along the route! A scenic course winds through the heart of Music City, taking the runners on a tour of many famous sites. Cheering squads line the streets, and for those most serious runners, the Nashville event is a Boston Marathon qualifier.


Just go to the Team McGraw website via the link below and click "Applications" on the left side of the screen. Choose "Country Music Marathon & ½ Marathon 2010" in the drop down menu for application details.

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Team McGraw is an endurance sports training program supporting the Tug McGraw Foundation's mission to fund projects that raise awareness and improve the quality of life for children and adults affected by debilitating neuroscience conditions such as brain tumors and traumatic brain injury.  Through Team McGraw, dedicated participants find the tools to meet their athletic goals while honoring the struggles of friends, families, and in many cases, even themselves as they confront brain tumors or brain trauma.

721 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: music, marathon, endurance, half-marathon, charity, half_marathon, runner, cancer, foundation, mcgraw, tug_mcgraw_foundation, tug, team_mcgraw, brain, trauma, nashville, tumor, country_music, rock_'n'_roll

Readers, meet Jen McDevitt.  Jen is, without a doubt, the most inspirational member of our Team McGraw family.  Stop by "Jen McDevitt's Blog" and you will find her story straightforward and motivating.

 

“Mentally preparing, training, and completing a marathon is tough.  Try doing it while undergoing treatment for brain cancer.  I have done it 5 times before, and I’m doing it again.”- Jen McDevitt

 

The stuff of true heroes, she is our “rock star,” and I am better every day for knowing her.  In this entry from February 26, 2009 titled "Super Spirit Cheerleader," Jen chronicles her RETURN to cheerleading in the absence of a personal marathon in 2009.  However, those that know her also know that she has been cheering for each of us all along…just as we are always cheering for her.

 

Read her blog.  Post your comments.  Run, Jen, Run.

 

Jeff McMahon

Director/Runner

Team McGraw

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So......bummer.....I am not running a marathon this year, but “YYYYYEEEAAAAHHHHH,” I get to go back to my grassroots (highlighted blonde and all) and do what I was perfect at - CHEERLEADING! I do believe that I am now the official captain of the Team McGraw Cheerleading squad. I am already perfecting some rally cheers; I will post them on YouTube for you to see.

 

But in the meantime....

 

I AM running in the Shamrock Shuffle and that is going to be my mini-marathon, for lack of a better word. I hit the road yesterday with 50 degree weather - (finally...whoever said anything about global warming is lying)- and I put in 2 miles, which is a milestone for me! I was so incredibly excited to run again today, but of course it is pouring and miserable. Just so I did not lose my motivation, I opened up my garage door and jumped rope for 25 minutes looking outside. I guess you could say that I am cross-training. Running/cheerleading is a very demanding sport. I am going to be most excited to live through everyone else's running experiences this year.

 

I have several friends running in the Nashville Half Marathon, and all will be wearing Team McGraw, and I will be screaming my little lungs out to push them along. I may even jump in and run with a few of them.

 

I missed running these past several weeks. It is kinda like an old friend. You just pick up where you left off. I can't wait to be in Nashville showing my cheerleading moves to everyone. "SUPER-SPIRIT CHEERLEADER," here I come!

 

Here are a few ideas:

 

“TACO, BURRITO, WHAT'S COMIN OUTTA YOUR SPEEDO,

 

Or…

 

“YA GOTTA BELIEVE, YA GOTTA BELIEVE,

“CROSS THAT FINISH LINE AND WHAT A RELIEF!

 

RUN ON, TEAM McGRAW...RUN ON!!!

 

Jen McDevitt

Inspiration Expert

Team McGraw

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Do You Still Run?

Posted by Team McGraw Jan 23, 2010

The post below was originally posted by Kevin Leathers, coach for Team McGraw.  Apart from being an experienced and knowledgeable athlete and guide, he also inspires our team with his spirit and dedication.  Read more from Coach Kevin in his blog titled "Can't Stop."

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I run.  I have always run.  At least it feels that way.  I have been a runner for nearly 30 years. That seems like an absurd statement. I do not feel old enough to have done anything for 30 years.  But yes, 30 years.  The only thing close is my 20 years of marriage.  I am tickled that my old favorite running shoes from high school are now part of Nike's "vintage collection."  Me, vintage?  Dang.

 

I often get asked by old friends and acquaintances, "do you still run?"  Well, yes of course.  That question seems so silly to me.  Running is such a natural part of my life; it is like asking, "do you still brush your teeth?  Do you still eat?"

 

Yes, why wouldn't I still run?  I am a runner.

 

Kevin Leathers

National Coach

Team McGraw

 

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Team McGraw Gets "Active!

Posted by Team McGraw Jan 23, 2010

I’m not sure if we knew what we were getting into at the time. It just seemed like a fun event: take our first team of runners to the ING New York City Marathon 2007.

 

Take ‘em, we did...and we had an outstanding journey.

 

As a CHARITY TEAM, we shared a huge success. We had a lot of visibility, garnered some nice press coverage, shared our mission and raised much-needed money to enhance the quality of life for children and adults combating brain tumors, brain trauma, and other debilitating cognitive conditions in support of the Tug McGraw Foundation.

 

As a TEAM OF RUNNERS...the success was even greater. We had 32 RUNNERS take the starting line bearing the name of “TEAM McGRAW.”  We had volunteers and supporters cheering us on throughout the streets of New York City...and then...we saw ALL 32 RUNNERS cross the finish line!

 

It still gives me chills to think of our first marathon as a team. Truth be known, we didn’t know we were starting a program at the time; we thought it would simply be a great event. We quickly learned, however, that this was an experience many of us would be ready and willing to repeat.

 

So the Team McGraw endurance sports training program was launched. Since that time, we’ve left our mark in events all over the country: Chicago, Nashville, Philadelphia, and Seattle to name a few.  We’ve seen continued success in New York City, rocked the house again and again in various “Rock ‘n’ Roll” marathons, and even scuffed up our shoes on the trails stretching across the Grand Canyon!

 

And every day...we get to rub shoulders with so many other dedicated and committed athletes as part of the Active community.

 

Good to meet you folks; we’re glad to be here.

 

Ya gotta believe...

 

Jeff McMahon

Director/Runner

Team McGraw

407 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: new, york, chicago, marathon, endurance, half-marathon, charity, runner, philadelphia, cancer, rock, roll, foundation, mcgraw, tug, brain, trauma, nashville, tumor


Team McGraw

Team McGraw

Member since: Apr 30, 2008

Team McGraw is the endurance sports training program that raises money for and increases awareness of the Tug McGraw Foundation through participation in competitive and non-competitive athletic events.

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