Why we run with Jan
Our group has been running together since June 2003.
Here's what our group members have said when asked "Why do you run with Jan?"
Why I run with Jan........
After training for my first marathon with TNT I signed on as a mentor so I could help and encourage others who signed up for the same mission. Soon after, Jan moved from position as walking coach to walking/running coach. Since then, he has led a great group of runners who are testing their bodies hard, but not as hard as those they are raising money for. I love the family atmosphere, I love the connection, the exercise, the friends, I love what I used to call "running church" when I would drive by all the church goers on sunday mornings on my way to a run. There are a million reasons why I love the group - others have mentioned. But what keeps me coming back is every once in a while, I am moved to tears by a TNT experience.
This week: Mark received a nice donation from the parents of his buddy that died of cancer almost two years ago. They miss their son.
THAT is ultimately why I run.
We need to cure cancer.
My soul can be found somewhere along the trails and back roads of VT (cloaked in a RunwithJan singlet!).
Joining YOUR TEAM has changed my life in ways that I would never have guessed. I am a different person now.
I run with Jan because he is a supportive, warm, welcoming organizer. Whatever
the pace, whatever the age, and whatever the distance--he makes a runner feel
at home. In addition he maintains an informative, informal web site with
marvelous photos. The web site encourages runners to exchange ideas, feelings,
plans, and information. We are fortunate to run with Jan.
Easy enough for me. I can run by myself, any day. I can also find runners who are faster and stronger to run with, and they will challenge me. I can find runners who are slower and I can encourage them.
I "run with Jan" because of community. There are precious few places where I can find a community who are committed to each other. I run because, when I don't, people ask where I have been. I run to be a "part of".
I believe it was Brenda and George who found me wandering the path to my car after a long run, and they urged me to join them on a Sunday TEAM IN TRAINING run. In the first moment running with the group, I found myself among a most diverse range of running abilities with everyone accepting and supporting each other. Then I met Jan, the COACH, a man so kind and interested in each person, I felt we had been friends for life. As a CL Leukemia and prostate cancer patient, I have found myself among people who not only work toward finding a cure but who also know how to be up front in talking about it. That, for me, is critical for living with cancer. Jan is very respectful of peoples' feelings in bringing together people to talk about cancer whether in private conversations, fund raising, or group conversations. This is exceptional leadership that goes beyond running. Jan attends equally to runners of any pace, gender, or distance. He makes multiple trips back and forth to bring runners to the finish line having already provided endless support with training run programs and web sites of interesting running advice and events. Jan is a man of boundless, whimsical humor. The man just weaves magic and it runs through the whole Team!
It is simple. You are a warm, caring and wonderful coach. The mission is powerful to help fight blood cancers and run even when you think you can't run another step because we run for those who can't. It doesn't matter how fast or slow I go because we all share a common bond and that good feeling I get when I join that circle or take the picture with the group or meet for coffee. You inspire us and the group builds on that inspiration through its kindness to each other and general concern for each other's well being. See you Sunday.
Why do I run with Jan?
Friends, great company, and fun. When my significant other first brought me to run with her running group, I was skeptical ("I don't need a running group!"). In my two years of running off and on with the group, I have seen people raising money for cancer research, I have been supported in non-running endeavors, and I have made many great friends. The fact that there are knowledgable runners who have helped me train and become a better runner is almost secondary: it has been awesome to make friends with a group of such positive, supportive, fun people who care about doing good in the world -- and all of these characteristics start with our leader Jan. Thanks Jan!
I 'Run with Jan' because I like being part of something larger than what I can/could accomplish by myself. This has multiple meanings. The first is there is no way I could make a dent in the fight against blood cancers by myself. But as part of Run with Jan and TNT I feel that I can actually make a difference. I can see tangible evidence of the good things done by the society; Gleevick(sp?), bone marrow transplants, chemo, saving Dave Kramer and Bill Potter's (Kristen's stepfather) lives. If I were to raise $2600 on my own, it would be difficult to see results...but combined with all TNT runners...that $2600 adds up to a quite impressive and powerful sum.
I also Run with Jan for selfish reasons. I don't know if I could (or would want to) train for endurance events without the friends I have met while runningwithjan. However, I have met some great people who make it not only bearable, but enjoyable to get up on Sunday mornings for a long run. The time seems to fly by while listening to another Newton Baker adventure or hearing opinions about eating a pulled pork sandwich as marathon fuel. I think I keep planning future events not so much for the events themselves, but so I make sure I have a reason to runwithjan.
I runwithjan - to find a cure for cancer
I runwithjan - to support each person who needs help with their battle against leukemia, lymphoma, etc.
I runwithjan - because I love the company
I runwithjan - because the company loves me.
I runwithjan - because I know that together we are making a difference.
Running with Jan: Inspiring, energizing, supportive, fun, non-competitive, committed to a cause
There are few groups of people who inspire me the way that you and your group does. Through the great times (running highs, PR's) and the down times (injuries, hitting the wall), there is always somewhere there by your side to cheer you on or just tell you a great story. I wouldn't know what an amazing organization TNT was if it wasn't for you and the RunwithJan group.
Thank you for opening your arms and hearts to another runner. I am so appreciative.
I run with Jan's TNT group because he is a true friend who deeply believes in the TNT mission and also cares so much for all of us. He gives sound, practiced running advice. He cheers us on when the going gets tough. He gives unconditionally every week and I couldn't think of a place I'd rather be every Sunday morning. Rain, sleet, 20 below, or 95 above, he's always there. He keeps pressing on and encouraging us. Most volunteers burn out after a few years. I'm so proud of you Jan! Thank you!
as Jan's Theme goes:
"We're running like lemmings, blazing down the path.
We don't know where he'll lead us, be it hill or be it flat.
But we know he'll be right next to us, smiling all the way,
Our Coach or friend or confidant, leads our churchless sanctuary each Sunday!"
It took me approximately six months after Woody first told me about runwithjan to finally make it to my first run, primarily because I spent every Sunday morning in church trying to heal myself after a recently ended relationship. Since coming to your group, I have found more acceptance, validation, understanding, caring, support, and love than I ever experienced in church. This is why I run with jan.
ps -- and in between injuries I get to stay fit, exercise my dog, eat a hearty breakfast without guilt and raise money for a cause close to my heart!
Great response, Paula! Though our individual motivations may have been different, I think you've captured why many of us run with Jan.
I run with Jan because I wanted to join a running group and share running time with other runners.
Today I run with Jan because it's a tight knit running family that cares and shares the happiness and pain that life brings to us and others. Thanks Jan.
Reasons to run with Jan:
I run with Jan because when I turned fifty, I wanted to make a difference and be active. The fact that I did not know anyone with leukemia seemed like all the more reason for me to want to help out those who had to deal with loved ones who had it.
When I joined in December, it mattered more to the seasoned TEAM runners that i stick around for the hot chocolate than than the fact that I had never run before.
I enjoyed the friendship and encouragement so much, I figure i could atleast give running a try.
Once in a lifetime,you are lucky enough to have people believe in you and support you to do more than you ever thought possible for yourself and for others. Run with Jan gave me that vision, that support, and that opportunity both as a fundraiser in Lake Placid half marathon and in doing the Boston Marathon. I could only wish to help others experience as I did how empowering support and friendship can be through any challenge, especially those who are supporting loved ones with leukemia.
Run with Jan is also about Jan, as a coach who inspires each and everyone on the TEAM. Jan sees and brings out the best in each of us. With that gift, Jan guides many runners like myself across the finish line to reach our goals aand feel the success of doing so --when there seems like there is nothing left to move us forward.. And the TEAM runners,who run with Jan, inturn, do the same for everyone who comes once, for those that come often, and those that have not been in a while, in all that is shared and matters most, between races....
I Run with Jan because of Jan's ability to empower us. Jan is a genuine person who is never judgmental and cares about TNT's mission and each of us as individuals. Jan generates a positive energy, and this energy has attracted many good people who are all supportive of one another. We are a circle of friends who share heartfelt stories, endless laughter, words of wisdom, and senseless chatter. Yet, we can feel comfortable spending hours together without talking at all. I Run with Jan because on Sunday mornings I am excited to see familiar faces, and just as excited to see new ones. Sunday is my motivation for the week; it brings with it a sense of accomplishment, belonging, and caring about others. Quite simply, I run with Jan because it makes me feel good.
Why I run with Jan. About a year ago Gie had told me about this running group called run with Jan ( team Leukemia). Gie said it was a great group of people of all running abilities. I am thinking in my head yeah right no one runs in a group as slow as I. So I never went. Then I met Woody in a class we were both taking and he said to just come down and meet the group for a run. So I did and I was hooked. Everyone is so family like in looking out for each other. Jan keeps coming back to see that us slower runners are ok. I have run in other groups and believe me the coach waits for us at the coffee house with a bagel in his mouth not knowing if anyone is hurt or lost on the course. That would never be Jan or any one else in the group there is always someone out there asking us slower runners if we are ok before they go for coffee It is the only group that I would run with. Jan makes training for any size race very enjoyable. His knowledge of each of our running abilities is so unbelievable to know what speeds people on the team our at. I am now planning on how I am going to do my fund raising for next year. This weekend running with the group in Maine was a great trip so glad that I went.
Running with Jan is like running with family and friends with a great cause raising money or supporting the people who do.
I run with Jan, because, even though most of the running group doesn't know me or hasn't seen me, you still open your heart and kindness to me. You still offer your expertise on running, training, motivating and importance of taking time off to me! You are the most thoughtful, selfless person I know. When I have run with you and your group, I felt absolute acceptance and a welcome of family.
They, (research and doctors) have come a long, long way since I lost my sister to Leukemia, (many years ago) and that is a direct result of what you do everyday Jan. A direct result of the time and effort you put into organizing, training and always with a smile and a welcome to help the team raise money and prepare for the race/run of a lifetime. AND...you don't do it once, or twice a year....it's EVERY FRICKIN' WEEK! You rock! Thank you my dear friend!
I runwithjan/Team in Training every Sunday morning. There is a hole in my week if I can't join the Sunday morning group. I started running with the group when I joined Team in Training. I had run all of 3 miles when I signed up to run a marathon. That first week I was so nervous not knowing how I'd fit into a group of real runners. Nothing to worry about, this group taught me right off that if I put one foot in front of the other I was a real runner. It didn't matter that I was at the back of the pack, everyone in let me know I belonged. And that is why I keep running with this wonderful, supportive group. Every Sunday morning, no matter what the day brings (cold, snow, rain, wind), I know I'll find a sunny welcome. Everyone goes out of their way to attend to one another, always happy to welcome new members into our community. I love being part of this community that formed to contribute to ending cancer while creating friendships and sharing our running fever. We are blessed with the leadership of the world's best coach, Jan, and with one another.
I cannot say enough good things about the group. Everyone is very supportive and always to willing to offer a kind word or helping hand. The unfortunate nature of supporting Leukemia research is that there is not alway happy news. The flood of support that always follows any news still amazes me. As does the support for the runners that are fundraising.
The family like nature of the group has exposed me to many things I would not likely have done on my own. I have been to art galleries, poetry slams, and concerts in support of different members of the group. Each of the occasions was very enjoyable and I look forward to more in the future.
The group also runs. The sunday runs are the highlight of most weeks. There is such a variety of people that there is always someone to run with you. Despite many claiming not to be "real" runners, the group is very knowledge and most have complete several marathons. New runners are welcomed in like long lost friends and even occasionally adopted during runs.
I feel privileged to be allowed in the group and hope to someday give back to the group as much as it has given me.
This is a bit long,
but I wrote it thinking about what I'd say if I was asked to write an
article about the Run with Jan group. Like several others have mentioned,
I was also recruited to the Sunday runs by Woody! And I'm sure that many
of you will recognize my description of Karen here - I hope she doesn't
mind, but since we started running with the group around the same time,
I've been very inspired by her journey!
I first starting joining Jan's Sunday run group in Nov-Dec of 2005 since
after a few years of running half marathons I had decided that I was going
to run my first marathon the following year - specifically the Vermont City
Marathon in May of 2006 - and Woody Bowe (who I knew from work and
Catamount) recommended that this group would be a good way to keep up my
mileage over the winter. I found that the "Run with Jan" group was very
diverse - men and women, ages ranging from 20 to 70 years old, single and
married, parents and those without children, new and experienced runners,
fast and slow runners (& even some walkers) - all united by their desire
join others in a weekly run outside no matter what the weather (this year
we even ran the day after the ice storm!). I enjoy running with them for
several reasons. First of all, I think that the group maintains a healthy
perspective on running - while we pursue our training goals and even push
ourselves at times (I'm still recovering from the hilly Charlotte Covered
Bridges route!), balance and injury preventions are also top priorities.
For example, this past week Jan sent out an email to the entire group
congratulating a runner for deciding not to finish a run due to an injury
instead of blindly pushing through the pain and risking further damage.
Secondly, with the variety of fellow runners, it is easy to find someone
else going a similar distance and pace and on a long run, the time passes
much more quickly when you are getting to know someone else instead of
counting down the minutes you have left. Also, changing the running
locations & routes each week helps add variety to my routine and encourages
me to explore different areas of Chittenden County.
The power of having a steady running group was really demonstrated to me as
I observed the progress of other runners that joined in on the group runs.
For example, at those first runs with the group, I noticed that there was
another woman who was new to the group as well. At that time, she was very
new to running and her long run was only around 1 mile. I was impressed
with her dedication - she showed up to every group run and stuck around
after her shorter run to wait for the rest of us and join us for coffee
afterwards even if that meant waiting an hour or more. All winter/spring
she slowly but steadily increased her mileage and eventually ran her first
half marathon that June. The following year, she applied for and was
awarded one of GMAA's Boston Marathon bibs since running in that race was a
goal which helped her begin running in the first place. She continued her
training making slow & steady improvements and in April of 2007 completed
the Boston Marathon! It was amazing to watch her progress first hand and
the support from the "Run with Jan" group was key in helping her progress
from barely running 1 mile to completing a full marathon in just 18 months!
Lastly, while the "Run with Jan" group is based upon raising money for the
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through the Team in Training organization, I
appreciate that the group is truly open to everyone, even if they are not
officially involved in the TNT program. Personally, I am not comfortable
mixing my running with fundraising, but I like being able to support the
runners that have decided to undertake such a laudable endevor - both
through financial contributions and moral support during runs and races.
Many of the runners involved in the TNT program have been personally
impacted by these diseases and I think that the program is an important
outlet to permit them to focus their energy in a positive manner as they
work to help others and ultimately cure these types of cancers.
Okay, Which one of you is Jan???
Is he the one, who likes to take pictures?
Is he the one, who prints out directions and cuts them into little pieces?
Is he the one, that sends emails so that, on Sunday mornings, we go on adventures to explore where bottom of sneakers would never be on Sundays?
Is he the one, that likes to ware balloons on he birthday to hick up his running shorts to make him faster?
Or is he the one, that when who inspires us, that if we every have a moment of hardship, toughness or hurt, then we really don't .
Is he the one, who has planned more trips for raising funds for the good cause, that each of us has/had the pleasure of going on?
He is the one, that without him being who he is, new friendships would be not, reasons for a TNT causes are known, and for everyone one of us, has made us all better people.
I KNOW WHO HE IS!!!
Ever get the notion - he is Charlie Brown and we are the Peanuts Gang....