Tal­bot Un­leashed

Marathon run­ners raise money for Tal­bot Hu­mane

Sunday Star - - FRONT PAGE - By CON­NIE CON­NOLLY cconnolly@ches­pub.com

EAS­TON — Bar­bara Bid­dle of Eas­ton ad­mits she is not an ath­lete. And as an English teacher at Sts. Peter and Paul High School, she spends a good deal of time sit­ting as she plans lessons and grades pa­pers.

But the 53-year-old wife and mother of three mostly grown chil­dren de­cided to “go all out for the an­i­mals” and train with the Tal­bot Un­leashed run­ning club for the 2017 Ma­rine Corps Marathon on Satur­day, Oct. 22, to raise money for Tal­bot Hu­mane.

Af­ter 33 weeks of train­ing that stretched her be­yond what she dreamed she could ac­com­plish, Bid­dle crossed the fin­ish line. And wait­ing for her at the end of her seven-hour, 26.2-mile run/ walk was a young Ma­rine with a heavy medal em­bossed with the globe and ea­gle logo, a con­grat­u­la­tory hug and a hearty “Oo­rah!”

“It was awe­some, it re­ally was,” Bid­dle said. “The Marines just put on a good run. The fact that you did the Ma­rine Corps Marathon puts you in an elite group.”

Patty Cran­shaw-Quimby agreed. She is the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Tal­bot Hu­mane, 7894 Ocean Gate­way, Eas­ton, and Tal­bot County’s chief an­i­mal con­trol of­fi­cer. She is a marathon run­ner her­self, but only for the past five years. “I was the poster child of couch pota­toes,” she said.

“The honor of Tal­bot Hu­mane be­ing a first-time char­ity part­ner for the 42nd Ma­rine Corps Marathon, cou­pled with the priv­i­lege of run­ning — and fin­ish­ing — the race, was cer­tainly a bucket list ex­pe­ri­ence per­son­ally and pro­fes­sion­ally,” Cran­shaw-Quimby said.

“Train­ing and rais­ing funds for five months, the Tal­bot Un­leashed team and our coaches gave their heart, blood, sweat and tears, rais­ing just shy of $31,000 this sea­son,” Cran­shaw-Quimby said.

“We are grate­ful not only to the run­ners, coaches and donors for sup­port­ing Tal­bot Hu­mane, but also for the op­por­tu­nity to share this ex­pe­ri­ence with our com­mu­nity,” she said. “Other than the Head to Tail Thrift and Vin­tage Shop, the marathon has be­come our big­gest fundraiser.”

“Patty is an off-the-charts spe­cial per­son who re­ally changes a lot of lives,” said Tal­bot County Coun­cil­man Chuck Cal­la­han of Eas­ton, whose first marathon was the 2017 MCM with Tal­bot Un­leashed.

En­cour­aged by his girl­friend, Julie Fickes, an ex­pe­ri­enced marathoner her­self and an Un­leashed coach, Cal­la­han said, “When you have a girl­friend who’s a marathon run­ner, you bet­ter pre­pare your­self.”

Cal­la­han, 51, pres­i­dent of West and Cal­la­han cus­tom build­ing com­pany, said as the par­tic­i­pants gath­ered for the marathon, he was in the middle of about 30,000 run­ners. “I got so damned ner­vous, it was un­be­liev­able. I don’t know why.”

Cal­la­han fin­ished the MCM in a lit­tle over five and a half hours, av­er­ag­ing about 12 min­utes per mile. Al­though he was Mary­land State Gym­nas­tics cham­pion in 1978 and 1980, and an ice hockey coach for 14 years, he had never run be­fore.

“Julie is ex­tremely proud of me,” he said. “We had our mo­ments, though. I was try­ing to keep a leash on her be­cause we were packed so tight. I’d lose her and fig­ure, well, she’s gone. But we were hold­ing hands across the fin­ish line.”

Both Cal­la­han and Bid­dle were in­spired by the MCM’s “Blue Mile,” a sec­tion at the 10-mile mark lined with pho­tos of Marines who were killed in ac­tion. In con­trast to the bois­ter­ous cheer­ing from en­cour­ag­ing spec­ta­tors along the marathon’s route, the Blue Mile is marked by a quiet rev­er­ence.

“When you see some­thing like that, it gives you goose­bumps,” Cal­la­han said. “It brings to heart what peo­ple do for the U.S. It in­spires you to keep go­ing.”

This is the first year Tal­bot Hu­mane qual­i­fied for the MCM char­ity part­ner­ship pro­gram. Tal­bot Un­leashed coach Amy Eut­sey said the char­ity was re­quired to fill two-thirds of 80 run­ners’ bibs and pay a part­ner­ship fee. Each run­ner buys his or her $160 bib and agrees to raise a min­i­mum of $500 for the shel­ter. Fundrais­ing goals are re­duced the longer run­ners are with the team.

Tal­bot Un­leashed had 42 run­ners com­plete the marathon. The old­est was 60-some­thing Sara Rhoades, who had never run un­til five years ago.

Emily Hagy, the top fundrais­ing run­ner at just over $3,000, won a one-week va­ca­tion in Cape Hat­teras, N.C., “gen­er­ously do­nated by a friend of Tal­bot Hu­mane,” Eut­sey said.

“The back of our rac­ing sin­glets read ‘We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.’ The MCM has a five-hour time limit to reach the 14th St. Bridge at Mile 20 be­fore it is re­opened to traf­fic,” Eut­sey said.

“If you’re not to the bridge by ‘13:15,’ you’re not al­lowed to fin­ish. All our run­ners made it across the bridge, but we dealt with a lot of angst dur­ing the train­ing sea­son. We can laugh about it now,” she said.

In 2002, Eut­sey moved to Eas­ton and ran her first marathon, and even­tu­ally started the char­ity marathon train­ing club in Eas­ton at the sug­ges­tion of her hus­band, Dwayne, 10 years later. Crankshaw-Quimby joined the 20 mem­bers of the fledg­ling run­ning club.

“Patty was sold on it the first sea­son,” said Eut­sey, who also is the donor data­base ad­min­is­tra­tor and vol­un­teer co­or­di­na­tor for Tal­bot Hu­mane.

In five years, Tal­bot Un­leashed has more than dou­bled its mem­ber­ship to about 50. “Pretty much ever yone is a novice,” Eut­sey, who is a 50-year-old mother of three, said. “Only eight or 10 have ac­tu­ally run a marathon be­fore.”

Eut­sey and her fel­low coaches em­ploy a phys­i­cal con­di­tion­ing pro­gram that “works for novice run­ners, week­end war­riors and sea­soned ath­letes,” ac­cord­ing to the Tal­bot Un­leashed web­page.

Run­ners like Bid­dle be­gan the 2017 pro­gram on March 11 with a free, 10-week “couch to 5K” pre­con­di­tion­ing pro­gram that takes novices and those who haven’t run for a long time from a mile to three miles.

“I am not an ath­lete. I don’t know what got into me,” Bid­dle said. “I just wanted to see if I could do it. I had to raise $500, and I made my goal and got a lit­tle over.”

The 23-week MCM train­ing sched­ule be­gan the week of May 20 with run­ners al­ter­nat­ing days of daily cross train­ing and rest­ing, 30- to 45-minute runs/walks and one day of rest be­fore join­ing the team on Satur­day morn­ings for in­creas­ingly longer runs.

Or­ga­niz­ing a full marathon team is “an ex­treme amount of work,” Eut­sey said.

“It’s quite a pro­duc­tion,” Bid­dle said. Along the train­ing route, vol­un­teers dis­pense wa­ter and pep talks. At the end of the run, snacks and food are pro­vided to the pace groups.

The dis­tance of the first Satur­day run/walk through Eas­ton was 3 miles.

“It’s not a race, it’s an as­sess­ment to gauge each run­ner’s pace,” Eut­sey said. “Based on their fit­ness level, we set up pace groups of peo­ple you run with on Satur­days. They have a lot of fun.”

Each Satur­day’s dis­tance in­creased in­cre­men­tally un­til the team fin­ished 12 miles on July 8. The num­ber of miles var­ied af­ter week 12, al­ter­nat­ing be­tween longer and shorter runs un­til the team com­pleted 23 miles on Sept. 30.

“I’m a firm be­liever that a lot of the bar­ri­ers to go­ing to the full marathon is your own self-talk. It’s be­liev­ing in your­self,” Eut­sey said. “As the miles in­crease each week, part of the challenge is train­ing the brain, what I call train­ing the nerve, be­cause you have to talk your­self through some pretty rough spots — from about mile 18 or 20 to the end. It can be a strug­gle, it re­ally can.”

“If it were easy, ev­ery­body would be do­ing this,” Eut­sey said.

Even on days when the heat and hu­mid­ity were not op­pres­sive, the early Satur­day morn­ing runs through Eas­ton still were gru­el­ing.

Bid­dle’s eight-mem­ber pace group ran “all over town,” Bid­dle said. “Ever yone in three coun­ties can see all of us sweat­ing and pant­ing.”

At the 16-mile train­ing mark, Bid­dle pan­icked. “I sat in the car and had an anx­i­ety at­tack,” she said. “I said, ‘I can’t do this, I can’t do this,’ but then — I did it.”

“It think that’s what makes Un­leashed re­ally, re­ally spe­cial,” Eut­sey said. “You get some peo­ple who are like, ‘This is pos­si­ble be­cause we re­spect Tal­bot Hu­mane, we re­spect their mis­sion, we re­spect the fact that we have sev­eral coaches that have run lots and lots of marathons, and they re­ally be­lieve I can do it, so I’m go­ing to give my­self a chance and be­lieve I can do it.’”

“We’re as much a fam­ily as we are a team,” Eutsy said. “A lot of our run­ners make new friends, life­long friends. There’s a tru­ism: While we’re out on the trail, we talk about life. When we go out to din­ner, all we talk about is run­ning.”

Bid­dle and Cal­la­han say they prob­a­bly will not par­tic­i­pate in the MCM next year. “But I wouldn’t say I’ll never do it again,” Cal­la­han said.

Also known as the Peo­ple’s Marathon, “the mis­sion of the Ma­rine Corps Marathon is to pro­mote phys­i­cal fit­ness, gen­er­ate com­mu­nity good­will and show­case the or­ga­ni­za­tional skills of the United States Ma­rine Corps,” ac­cord­ing to www.marine­marathon.com.

“Or­ga­nized by the men and women of the United States Ma­rine Corps, the MCM is the largest marathon in the world that doesn’t of­fer prize money, in­stead cel­e­brat­ing the honor, courage and com­mit­ment of all fin­ish­ers,” the MCM web­site states.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the work of Tal­bot Hu­mane and Tal­bot Un­leashed, visit www. tal­both­u­mane.org.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @con­nie_s­tar­dem.

Tal­bot Hu­mane Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Patty Cran­shaw-Quimby and Tal­bot Un­leashed char­ity marathon coach Amy Eut­sey led a team of run­ners who raised $31,000 for Tal­bot Hu­mane at the 2017 Ma­rine Corps Marathon on Oct. 22.

Wear­ing their Ma­rine Corps Marathon medals are, from left, Ann Ja­cobs, Julie Hanes, Sara Rhoades, Christie Woodard, Cheri Baron, Patty Crankshaw-Quimby, Ash­ley Chroniger, Brandi Gavin, Pey­ton Lo­ge­man and Nicole Ben­choff VanHekle.


Bar­bara Bid­dle shows off her medal.

Julie Fickes, one of Tal­bot Un­leashed’s coaches, crossed the fin­ish line hold­ing hands with her boyfriend, Chuck Cal­la­han.

Tal­bot Un­leashed’s Cheri Baron points to the back of the run­ning team’s rac­ing sin­glet, which reads, “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” The bridge is the 14th St. Bridge at Mile 20 that Ma­rine Corps Marathon­ers must reach by “13:15,” or within the five-hour time limit, be­fore it is re­opened to traf­fic. If they do not cross the bridge by then, they are not al­lowed to fin­ish.

Tal­bot County Coun­cil­man Chuck Cal­la­han ran his first full marathon with Tal­bot Un­leashed at the Ma­rine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 22.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.