NYC Marathon Cancelled Due to Broken Coach

admin | November 29, 2010 in Endurance,NYC Marathon 2010,Running | Comments (6)

Coach Kevin (right) and I search through the dense field of runners for approaching Team McGraw jerseys...or anybody else seemingly in trouble.

“I’m in the hospital,” said Kevin, the national coach for Team McGraw.  “My foot’s all screwed up.  We are waiting on test results, but I’m still planning to make it to New York.”

Ouch.  That wasn’t part of our plan.  I was set to run the 2010 New York City Marathon in November with Team McGraw.  Training had gone pretty well, though touring Australia with Mr. McGraw through the fall did make training a bit challenging.  Still, things were pretty on track.

Meanwhile, Coach Kevin Leathers has had the St. Jude Memphis Marathon in December on his radar all year.  He runs crazy fast.  Painful fast.  Qualify for the Boston Marathon fast.  I’m not there; that’s why he’s “Coach Kevin.”  His plan was to set a PR (personal record) in Memphis.

We are both runners.  We love getting out there.  But it is so much more important for us to be available to our runners, our team, those that have trained so hard in dedication to the fight against brain tumors and traumatic brain injury.

Coach Kevin gives some final pointers to our runners after their easy warmup run the morning before the marathon.

If we are out there as runners, we aren’t really available during the race to advise, offer injury assistance, or generally just “attaboy” the folks.  Things can get dark in the toughest of moments in the marathon, and we want to help our folks make it through the tougher spots.  And we’re both runners, so we know…even a well-placed smile along a grueling race course can make all the difference.

The path was clear; I would not be running New York this year.

Fortunately, our resilient – (some say hard-headed) – Coach Kevin did make it out of the hospital just in time to catch his flight.  He wouldn’t be running, or even really mobile, but he was gonna be there.  Foot bound in a protective boot.  Crutches in hand.

Luggage…that’s my job.  You keep up with the crutches, pal. Sit down.  SIT DOWN.  I’ve got it.  You wanna help?  Sure.  Carry my cell phone and hush; you are on “injured reserve.”

Coach Kevin and I spent the weekend of the ING New York City Marathon on the sidelines – in truth, a much more gratifying place to be.  We were there to see each of our runnin’ brothers and sisters smile, warm up, fret, pose, stretch, start, sail, breathe, relax, laugh, hurt, fret, strain, worry, walk, frown, run, grimace, persist, growl, endure…and finish.  Awesome.

Not once did I regret choosing not to run.  But Coach Kevin, he had no intentions of letting me off the hook completely.

”Uh…yeah, Coach?  You wanted to talk to me?”

6 Responses to “NYC Marathon Cancelled Due to Broken Coach”

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  1. Comment by JoAnn Boeckermann — November 29, 2010 at 10:13 pm  

    Awesome to hear your good words… glad the Team did well and all finished. I would not be able to run a marathon. (Auto accident – ankle and two knees and a hip injures took care of that thought 10 years ago.) This cause is so important – and TMF helps many. Have a cousin at the end of his fight with brain tumors (started with nine tumors currently 15+ tumors and counting) right now. Got the bad news in late August and not much time to react. So anything that can be done to help fight this ugly disease would be welcomed by so very many. Keep up the fight. Keep smiling Jeff – looks good on you!

  2. Comment by Doc Rim — November 30, 2010 at 6:58 am  

    Road Dog, you are a true team player. Coach Kevin, I hope you rock your next race. If you guys ever need an extra coaching hand I would love to help out .

  3. Comment by Matt BeckNovember 30, 2010 at 9:23 am  

    Gimpy or not, I am glad Coach Kevin could make it to New York. Way to step up, Jeff, and take up the slack and help make this such a great event.

  4. Comment by Christine — November 30, 2010 at 10:22 am  

    This is what I call, “Team McGraw Teamwork.” Being a part of Team McGraw is a family, and whether your job is to support the Team by running, holding a sign along the sidelines, cheering your heart out, or holding someone’s luggage, you just do it because you care.

    Thanks Jeff, for showing the love towards Coach Kevin. And I know Kevin would do the same for you.

  5. Comment by kimmyt — November 30, 2010 at 12:07 pm  

    I would say out team was extra lucky this year to have 2 of the best out on the course. Double trouble! (LOL) Good luck on your upcoming race, Jeff. And tell Kevin to stay out of trouble; the crutches clash with his McGraw gear 😉 ya gotta believe.

  6. Comment by Lea — November 30, 2010 at 7:03 pm  

    Yep, that is just how you are…Love TEAM MCGRAW for all of these reasons!!!
    I can say both of you have helped me to dig a little deeper and just keep running when I would rather be finished.

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