Welcome to our Team's Homepage

Welcome to our Team's Homepage
Feb 01, 2010 by Tyler Dawson

Racing to Save Lives


***Win 6 months of massages!***

Congratulations to Joel & Jessica Nickerson for winning 6 months of massages by Katie Dawson, LMT!

Chartis employees - contact Tyler about dollar-for-dollar company matching on any donation of $25 or more!


Our team is taking a big leap, one step at a time. We have joined up with Team in Training to race a half marathon while doing our part to fight blood cancers!

A Message from Katie:

Thank you so much for visiting our fund raising page and joining together with us to fight for a cure for blood cancers. 75% of each dollar you donate goes directly to funding research and patient outreach and education through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Tyler and I have commited to run 13.1 miles in Seattle to raise awareness for leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma, all the while keeping in mind that our struggles with training and fund raising are nothing compared to those struggles faced by the victims of blood cancers and their families. That is why we are asking YOU to help us find a cure - so that one day, no one will have to struggle with these diseases. Thank you for your support!

Tyler's Story:

Luckily, my experience with blood cancers has been minimal, but I have seen a less lethal form of cancer close up. My dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer last June, and it was a scary day for my family. The diagnosis came as a big surprise, and the disease was more advanced than we had expected. While prostate cancer is very treatable, we couldn't help but think about the worst as the details of his condition were revealed. Since that difficult month, my dad has been fortunate in his progress. While the disease is still fighting him, the treatment is doing its job to keep it from escalating. My reason for being here is to help families who have a more difficult fight than mine while challenging myself physically, mentally, and socially along the way. It is my hope that this experience will bring personal growth for myself and a cure for someone out there fighting a blood cancer.

Please join us in our fight. Every dollar counts, and yours could be the one that finds a cure! We'll be here until April 28, 2010 to give our best to the cause, so keep checking in to watch our progress!

Our final goal is to bring $3,200 to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Thank you for being a part of reaching this goal.

- Katie & Tyler

Some of our personal Honored Heroes:

Gary Dawson - diagnosed with prostate cancer in June 2009.

Robert L. Bea - passed away in May 2007 after a fight with prostate cancer.

Milli Baranowski - passed away in the summer of 2008 after a 2-year fight with multiple myeloma.

Carol Cacek - passed away in October 2009 after a 2.5 year fight with ovarian cancer.

Latitia Crinshaw - passed away in 2002 after a fight with blood cancer. She was clean of Non-Hodgekins Lymphoma for almost a year when Leukemia surfaced. She left behind 2 children, 3 and 5 years old.

Bernice Ervin - passed away in 2004 due to complications of Non-Hodgekins Lymphoma after a long fight with colon cancer.

Garnerella Roberson - passed away in 1989 from Leukemia, 8 months after her diagnosis. She beat her 3-month prognosis.

Earlean Murphy - passed away in March 2010 after a fight with Leukemia.

Race Report (now that it's over!):

This Sunday was FINALLY the day of my Team in Training race! After switching races due to fundraising difficulties, then switching again due to a race cancellation, we were set for the Heels & Hills Half Marathon on May 2.

First, let me recap the training leading up to the race. In January, we signed up for this race and started prep for the Rock 'n' Roll Dallas HM in March. We ramped up the long runs from 4.5-10, then finished 13.1 on race day. After the Rock 'n' roll, things got a little lazy. We had 7 weeks of training to keep our endurance and get ready for another 13.1. Over that 7 weeks, we managed 1 long run of 8 miles, and a 2nd longest run of 4 miles. Oh, and we ran at best twice a week the whole time. It was some REALLY pathetic training. We got up to race week, knowing we had some iffy training, and just pushed to keep up the short runs til race day. We had our last short run set for Thursday before our Sunday race.

Then we got sick. We couldn't get out of bed that morning, so we agreed we would DEFINITELY get out that evening. By 4pm I had the beginnings of a sore throat, and by the time we were home, Katie had a big headache. I begrudgingly agreed we shouldn't run with the beginnings of a cold, or whatever we had going on. By the time we got to bed, we were in pretty sore shape. We both called in sick the next day and spent all day on the couch. I'm not kidding... no chores, no going to the grocery store, just couch. I realized that in the evening, I went outside for the first time with the exception to standing on the porch earlier in the day to see what the weather was like (which lasted all of 4 seconds). The theme for the rest of the time leading up to the days was just... REST, then KEEP RESTING!

We were feeling OK enough by Saturday afternoon that we weren't even thinking of cancelling on the race. We left the house and went down to Irving, where our hotel was and where we had our pasta party. Things were still going well that evening, and it seemed we really were over our sickness enough to run.

After the pasta party, we got to get our running clothes ready. If you've ever run a race where TNT was involved, you've seen the purple shirts covered in colored duct tape. We all busted out the shirts, duct tape, markers, paint pens, and ribbons, and got decorating. The main point of this is to show your name for all of your teammates and to show everyone who your motivation is for this event.

Once we had our shirts ready, we headed up to the hotel room to set out our gear and check in for the night. We had shirts, shorts, shoes, hat/headband, SPIbelts, GUs/Shot Blocks, Garmin +HR strap, water bottles, Body Glide, and sunscreen. Surprisingly, we slept pretty well for the night before the race!

Race morning came, and we crawled out of bed. We both had a clif bar ready, and I had an apple to go with mine. No coffee for race morning, just water. With sunscreen and body glide applied and water bottles filled, we headed down the street to the starting line. We had our Team in Training tent, where everyone congregated and grabbed any pre-race food they needed. We stretched, walked, took pictures, and got each other pumped.

At the start (which a lot of people were still trying to find when the gun sounded), we started off with our nice, easy pace. We like going slow, so there was no trouble holding our pace from the start. Also as usual, the first 2 miles sucked. More like 2.5-3 this time, but we made it out of the warmup phase and got moving easy. The first 2 water stops were manned by Team in Training, so we got some good encouragement right off the blocks!

The course started at Williams Square in Las Colinas (where the mustang statues are, for DFW locals), and they routed us onto a nice concrete run/bike trail running next to a slow river. It was shaded by trees for about 85% of the course, and it was quite scenic! Some of the stranger sections were around mile 4 where we passed what we later found out to be a polo course and the row of houses, one of which was obviously cooking up bacon for breakfast. We debated asking for some.

About mile 5, we had started looking for a potty stop. Unfortunately the next one we found was the nastiest sight you have ever seen (or smelled). Let's just say Katie had to find another one, because she had no physical way to take care of business while avoiding the nastiness.

The half-way point had a nice loop where the course turned back on itself. That had a Team in Training cheer station and a CLEAN potty stop. We took advantage of the opportunity to stop and started our 2 doses of GU/shot blocks. By this time, we were right on pace to get a PR, as long as we didn't have any problems.

By the time we came up on mile 8, we were still feeling good. Since we were passing our longest training distance in the past 7 weeks, I was getting nervous about how we would feel after this. Sure enough, the aches and pains started creeping up, as did those fantastic left brain messages Jeff Galloway hates so much. It wasn't bad, just enough to make us have a little less fun than we were having before. Each water stop boosted our spirits, but each new mile felt harder than the last.

By mile 10, we were both feeling awful. I was getting what I knew was left IT band pain, and I was already planning to find an ice pack at the finish line. Katie was getting some hip pain, which is her curse, but she was mostly feeling exhausted. We finished what was left of our GU/shot blocks here, hoping they would help us to the finish line. We told each other "Only 3 miles left! That's nothing!," but it only helped for about half a mile.

We got to mile 11, and we could see the building next to the finish line. Unfortunately, we had to go down about 3/4 mile and turn around before we could actually approach the building. The last 2 miles held the 2 Team in Training water stops, which we were VERY glad to see. All our teammates cheered us thru and gave us a huge psychological boost. But by then, we couldn't do much besides grit our teeth and keep moving.

After mile 12, we could see exactly how much distance remained between us and the finish area. We did something we never do that late in a run... we finished a run interval (we were doing 5:00/2:00 Galloway intervals) and said "no more running til we turn that corner. We have to finish this strong." We walked as long as I could stand it, then I decided we had to get moving again a few dozen yards before the turn.

We hit that turn, and the finish was practically in sight! We kept pushing as hard as we could, which isn't saying much. Half way from the corner to the finish, one of our Team in Training coaches (Brian) showed up, who had been helping people in to the finish. There we were, pushing our 14:00 pace, me with 2 empty water bottles in hand, and we just gave it all we had. Brian was talking us up every step of the way, and Katie and I could barely stand to look at each other, or we would have lost our concentration. I threw the water bottles in the grass thinking "forget this, I can get those later!" Brian picked them up for me and showed right back up at our side.

This is when Katie managed to push into a sprint. I don't know where it came from. I didn't think I had it in me, but I had to stick with her. We had run 26.1 miles of races next to each other, and I wasn't going to give up the last 0.1. Miraculously, I pushed up next to her and we gave it all we had thru the finish. Later review of the Garmin showed we cut our pace from about 14:00 to 6:38 during the final sprint!

Of course, I forgot about the Garmin until about 20 seconds of standing around at the finish, but it still showed about 2:30 faster than our last 13.1! Official time came in as 3:17:25, which is a PR by 3:09!

At the finish, I went to our team tent, grabbed some food, and sat down next to a big bag of ice. I thought about putting some in a plastic bag or a towel, but I just leaned the bag up against my knee. It was definitely not happy, so I wanted to start early on fixing it. I'm still icing it today at work, but no clue yet if it will let me run anything significant this week. Katie's doing the same with her hip.

But as much as the body parts ache, the pride of finishing that race strong is more than enough to make us want to do it again. After the race, we've talked about how there is no way we could have even finished the race without all the teammates on the course yelling "Go Team!" along the way and keeping us motivated. We haven't made the official decision, but we're talking about running the White Rock HM this December, and taking on the challenge of being TNT Mentors for that season.

Oh, and by the way, our fundraising got up to 100% of our goal! The only thing left is to get in the company matching checks, and we will have raised over $3,200 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society!


Supporter Comments


    Gerald Binkley

    Sun Feb 21 10:00:58 EST 2010

    "Good luck to you guys.. Keep on truckin'"

    Sam w/ Coventry

    Wed Mar 10 06:48:16 EST 2010

Team Fundraising Total

Goal: $9,000.00
30 %
Donations: $2,683.23

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