by Michael Wedel
The Team Rogue fall marathon season finished up this past weekend, with the Dallas White Rock Marathon. We had some fantastic performances to finish off a great season of training. I was there to spectate and do some pacing. While I was there, I saw a great example of how we really have become “Team” Rogue. I’ve been with the team since May 2008. It’s always been full of awesome, dedicated people, but this season it went up a notch. This season was filled with many great examples of teamwork and friendship. There are probably a dozen stories I could write about, but what I saw in Dallas exemplifies how we’ve really become a team.
I went up to Dallas with Jessica Bryant, Christina Northover, and Sue Lynn Vann. Sue Lynn was aiming to finish her first full marathon. I was set to pace her from about mile 9 to mile 20, where Jessica would take over. Christina was going to cheer at various spots on the course. Race day was in the 40’s with wind and rain. It rained on and off the entire time. I waited at about mile 9 with Jessica, Christina, Coach John Schrup, and Sue Lynn’s brother, Minh. We chose to wait there, since that is where the full and half course split, and we also had people running the half. It was freezing, and we were wet, but excited to see all of our teammates come through. When Sue Lynn came by, I started my run with her. I won’t go into much detail here. I’ll just say that she’s tough, but it was a hard day, and she was dealing hip and knee pain, which made her have to stop and stretch a number of times. I had my phone with me, so I was sending out text updates so everyone knew what mile we were at.
Around mile 18 or 19, she started telling me she didn’t think she could make it. I told her that wasn’t an option; she called me a motherf—er, but kept going. I knew we would get help at 20, so I texted and said she was going to need some major motivation. Shortly after that, I got a text from Christina that said “Don’t tell SL, but we are all going to jump in and run the last 6 with her.” I was expecting Jessica to run with her, but I wasn’t expecting everyone. That was a surprise. I didn’t tell Sue Lynn why, but I told her to keep going, and just see how she felt at mile 20.
When we got to mile 20, I saw Jessica, Christina, Helen Yee, and Teresa Benitez all standing there waiting for her. Helen and Teresa are also in Team Rogue, and had just finished running the half marathon, where Helen qualified for New York. They had already finished their run, but they were back out there in the rain to support their friend. As they saw us, they started jumping up and down screaming, the way only a group of women can. As they came running up to us, they told me they had her, and to take Jessica’s car and meet them at the finish. I told Helen that Sue Lynn wanted to quit, and she immediately yelled at Sue Lynn, “Hell no, you aren’t quitting”. So, I took the keys and stopped running. The last I saw, Sue Lynn was running down the street with a mob of excited women. I knew she’d be alright, then. I had helped get her that far, but they were definitely what she needed to bring it home.
I wasn’t there for the last 10k, but I heard it was epic. They wouldn’t let her stop, and kept her going the rest of the way. Jessica had her phone on her, so I saw updates about how Sue Lynn was at mile 24, and passing people. They all finished the race together. Mission accomplished.
I think, the fact that they all got together, to run her in, shows how this group has really developed as a team over the last 5-6 months. Jessica and Christina stood in the rain all morning, to cheer on Rogues. Christina wasn’t dressed for running, at all, besides running shoes. She could have easily just stayed at mile 20, cheered, then got back in a warm car. Helen and Teresa had already raced 13.1 miles. Lots of people would have just gone to wait in the finishing area after racing a half marathon, or just cheered at the finish. Not these Team Rogue ladies. When they knew a friend needed help, instead of just cheering, they got out there to run her in for her final 6.2 miles. That is freaking awesome, but pretty much what I’ve come to expect from this group of Rogues. Everyone ran hard this season, but even badasses need a little support now and then. That’s what you get in Team Rogue, and that’s one reason why it’s the best training group in Austin.
It has been a fantastic season of training, with lots of great moments and memories. I’m looking forward to what this next season has to offer. I think we will only grow stronger as a team, and probably add some more friends to the Team Rogue family.