Friday, August 29, 2008


Hard to believe, the Summer Olympics came to an end and I find myself so inspired and encouraged by moments, athletes and a country that made the impossible possible by coming up with an amazing show.

Let me star with the opening ceremonies: Spectacular, mind blowing, incredible, astonishing, you name it! That evening the Alamosa High School Cross Country team had a 24 hour relay going on at their dirt track for fundraising purposes. I had no worries as I knew I could replay the opening ceremonies on the Internet. After my 6 mile leg at the middle school dirt track, I rushed home to watch the second part of the opening ceremonies with the rest of the family.

What about Michael Phelps and the entire swimming team? I do not know much about swimming, but what I saw on T.V. was just phenomenal. Phelps is just an example of how far years of hard training, commitment, and dedication can take you. Along with a network of support that made sure he was ready to go and get the job done. It was wonderful to see my 3 year old nephew get excited for the swimming competitions.

My most favorite moment was to watch Shawn Johnson win a individual gold medal on the beam. She stole my heart from day one. I admire her personality and professionalism. She never stopped smiling and cheering on her teammates. I admit I cried as she received her well deserved individual gold medal, cried some more when they were playing the national anthem and had a few tears come out when they interviewed her about her experience.

Many people e-mail me asking about my thoughts about the Women’s Olympic Marathon. Definitely, anything can happen in a marathon. I was extremely happy for Constantina Dita from Romania. She went for it and her courageous move paid off. This is an example of an athlete who never gave up and kept persevering. Finally, after many years of training and experience Constantina made it to the top winning the biggest honor of all, the Olympic GOLD medal.

I was in shock when Deena Kastor had to stop. I could not believe it. The first question that came to mind was WHY? Why Deena and why now? Deena has been an inspiration to me since the very first time I learned about her back in 1999. I admire her not only as the discipline fast runner she is, but I admire her as the women and kind person she is. It was unfortunate that she had to stop at the Olympics. I am confident she will bounce back and heal soon from this experience. If there is anyone that can handle staff like this is her. Deena is a fighter and will make the best of this experience.

If there is anything I learned from this Summer Olympics is that a single race or event does not determine who we are; but the journey, experiences, victories and defeats are the ones that help us define who we truthfully are.

Friday, August 8, 2008


As I had promised, I have some pictures from "The Boilermaker" a 15km road race in Utica, New York. This was my third year coming to this race and the whole weekend was quite an experience. There are so many things that make this race very special such as the community, volunteers, friends and elite runners.

1) The Community

All the people in Utica come together on race day. If people are no racing that day, they are volunteering or you will see people cheering for you for the entire 9.3 miles. This year one of my goals was to take a picture from the stage, so that you could see the amount of people who stay after the race just for the award ceremony. Isn't this cool?

2) Volunteers

The day before the race I came across Joe Johnson and Tim Fitzgerald. It was nice to be able to chat and share some of my experiences with them. I hope they have a great XC and Track seasons. Big Thanks to all the volunteers that make sure we had plenty of water during the race. Greetings to Jena Comstock, Kali Fical, Mike Fitzgerald, Debbie Comstock and Kim Fical.

3) Friends

Elizabeth and Mariann. I met Elizabeth back in 2005 when I run at Peachtree and I met Mariann in 2006 during my first Boilermaker. It was wonderful to get to see them again.

Larry Rawson, the best Track and field and marathon analyst of the whole world. He is one of my most favorite commentator. Larry knows how to cheer one on. Thanks Larry!

Kathrine, the fist women to officially enter and run the Marathon. She is a great role model and an inspiration.

I could not leave the stage without taking a picture with the Governor of New York, Mr. David A. Paterson. Yes, after a few attempts, finally one of his body guards had some compassion and offer to take the picture. Still, I can not stop smiling! That was by far the challenge of the day.

After the race, I had a blast in company of international athletes Lidia Simon from Romania, Felix Limo from Kenia,and Nadia Ejjafini from Morocco.

Yes! This year, The Boilermaker was a blast. An event that will remain in my heart and will motivate me as I continue on this journey.