Team McGraw Endurance Program

admin | February 8, 2010 in Endurance,Running | Comments (11)

Brain tumor survivor Jen McDevitt (left), Chris Keller (center), and I stuck together for the Country Music Half Marathon in 2008; Chris went on to finish the full marathon...the show-off!

I wish I could say I’ve always stood as a shining star of self-discipline when it came to my running.  Uncompromising, stalwart, never relying on others to get me out the door on those days that motivation tends to be a bit lacking.  The best athletes possess that quality, and I do okay, but I could do better.

In truth, my training sword became much sharper with the establishment of the Team McGraw endurance program.  Through this program, athletes are guided and trained for events of their choosing while they offer their support for the Tug McGraw Foundation and quality of life brain tumor research; I carry the keys as director of the program.

I’ve met other folks that run programs like this, and believe me, they ain’t all runners.  Many don’t even pretend to be.  I just can’t do that; I’m more of a “lead from the front” kinda guy.  I don’t have to be the fastest out there, but if you are going in to fight the fire – then I’m goin’ in with ya.

And man…are there some great folks goin’ in to fight that fire.

An inspiring survivor of a brain tumor that didn’t complete her first marathon until after her original diagnosis.  A father that trains for his first marathon in honor of the fight currently underway with his own son.  A wife that runs a half-marathon to inspire her survivor husband…who later completes the same distance at her side.

These and so many others have not only challenged some endurance event as “Team McGraw” – be it a run, walk, hike, climb, ride, or swim – but they have done so to serve.  To serve those combating brain tumors.  Those challenged by some sort of brain trauma or debilitating cognitive condition.  Those caring for others embroiled in these struggles…and those moving forward in the dedicated memory of others that have gone on.

Remembering that I’m saddled up with folks like these on those “I don’t feel like runnin’ today” days, THAT gets me out the door quicker than anything.  I’m proud to stand with ‘em, I wanna train for ‘em…

And when the gun fires…I’m gonna be one of ‘em.


To find more about the Team McGraw program or to participate in one of our events, visit the program website at

11 Responses to “Team McGraw Endurance Program”

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  1. Comment by KevinFebruary 8, 2010 at 6:45 am  

    Right there with ya, Jeff! I draw on our Team McGraw runners for inspiration on a regular basis; they give me perspective and motivation to keep pushing.

  2. Comment by ChristineFebruary 8, 2010 at 9:32 am  

    Well written and expressed, Jeff.

    Ok…I’m third in line here as far as how being a part of “Team McGraw” these past 2/1/2 years has motivated and inspired me to be a “better person.” (Not that I was a bad person before.) But it has been the “folks” whom I’ve met and come to know through Team McGraw that have given me this inspiration. I like to think of the Team McGraw as a family, and I am grateful for their support and friendships.

    Ok… who’s next in line?

    Ya gotta believe!

  3. Comment by Genvieve GoldsteinFebruary 8, 2010 at 3:22 pm  

    Jeff, I know exactly what you mean. I am never without motivation when I look at the others involved with Team McGraw. It is inspiring on and off the course. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  4. Comment by lea hobaica — February 8, 2010 at 5:07 pm  

    I also have much admiration for the members of Team McGraw. It is a privilege to know such strong individuals. I am one of those non-runners that has pushed myself to continue on regardless. I look at it as if it is the least I can do after meeting people with struggles greater than mine and watching them conquering them with courage everyday!!

    I am very proud to be a member of Team McGraw.

  5. Comment by Mike — February 8, 2010 at 6:55 pm  

    Jeff, if I had never found Team McGraw, I would have been a “one-hit wonder.” The first 1/2 marathon and it would have been over. But I get my inspiration from the whole team – from the coaches to the runners, everyone wants to be a part just to help out. So when the alarm goes off at 5AM in the morning, I think of the others, who are just like me getting up to run (although I don’t see many people out at 5AM.) Jeff, thanks for being a great “lead by example” person. It easy for us to just follow you.


  6. Comment by Kimmy T — February 8, 2010 at 9:05 pm  

    I feel blessed that I am able to wear the Team McGraw logo and to have met such wonderful, inspirational people through this fabulous organization. Jen McDevitt, David Bier, Madeline DeGrace are just a few of the reasons why I believe in Team McGraw; I’m looking forward to running for & with Team McGraw in Nashville & Philadelphia 2010. YGB !!!

  7. Comment by JenFebruary 12, 2010 at 5:38 am  

    This is great, and I like the shot of the girl with the guns! Just kidding! What a great community that has been formed. Team McGraw is beginning to be like a fraternity or sorority. You get a bit of hazing, pledge-week is horrific, you want to give up and say “to hell with it,” but you get in and you are a lifelong member!

    No place I would rather be!

    YGB…secret handshake!

  8. Comment by Dave N.February 15, 2010 at 9:13 am  

    It’s because of people like the poster directly above me (along with the rest of you) that inspires me every day to lace ‘em up and hit the road. I thought Philly ’09 would be a one-shot deal – instead, I’m psyched up again to do this in 2010 for the step-dad I lost, for various friends who this disease has touched, and for Jen, the symbol of strength. You Gotta Believe, and I do, that we’re gonna beat this!!

  9. Comment by Cook What You Catch « Road Dog RunnerFebruary 19, 2010 at 5:13 pm  

    [...] my lap.  As I take another bite, I notice photographs on the fireplace mantle of two of my first Team McGraw marathon teams.  One would think that the cheering fans at the finish line of a 26.2-mile [...]

  10. Comment by RACE REPORT: Gasparilla Distance Classic 2009 « Road Dog RunnerMarch 8, 2010 at 9:18 am  

    [...] Florida.  I wanted to be there – I ran it last year with Tom Karpowich, one of our dedicated Team McGraw crew – but we had a concert the night before in another state, and I just couldn’t get there.  [...]

  11. Comment by Runners Freeze Their Shamrocks Off « Road Dog RunnerMarch 18, 2010 at 12:43 am  

    [...] the first time, ”Team McGraw” was headed to the starting [...]

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