Wednesday, February 13, 2008

In The Bag

Ever look at a woman's purse or wallet? Isn't it amazing what we will hold on to for fear of needing it some day?

I was sitting next to a friend of mine at a dinner party last week, and while she was searching for a few bucks to buy a drink, she actually pulled out a DVD. I think it was Super Bad. Yes, really.

I told her she would have been great on Let's Make A Deal, where Monty Hall would try to stump the audience by asking for odd items. And usually someone had them.

Well, my purse isn't that bad. (I'm actually writing that with a straight face.) But I did find one item of interest while cleaning out a few things today.

Written on the back of my Disney itinerary supplied to us by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society was a list of numbers, along with some barely legible scribbles.
  • 777 Porta Potties
  • 520 Buses to shuttle runners
  • 16,000 runners in the Half Marathon
  • 18,000 runners in the Full Marathon
  • 3,000 that do both races -- the half on Saturday and the Full on Sunday (yes, you read that correctly)
  • 88,000 gallons of water
  • 840,000 cups
  • $5.6 million raised by the TnT runners for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
  • 1,800 Tnt Runners (known as the Purple People by race organizers)
  • 17,000 sponges
  • 900 medical staff
  • 5,000 volunteers
I made the notes during the TnT Pasta Party at Epcot Center last month. (I guess I'll always have a little bit of reporter in me.)

The Pasta Party was probably one of the most emotional and inspiring parts of the Disney Marathon Weekend. As we turned the corner to make our way to the banquet hall on Friday afternoon before Race Day, the sounds of cheering, horns, whistles and almost every other imaginable noise hit us square in the face.

Volunteers, staff members, coaches, mentors and cancer survivors and formed two lines on either side of us. The sights and sounds were almost overwhelming. Costumes of every color. Signs and noise makers everywhere. They were celebrating the accomplishments of the TnT Disney runners. They were celebrating us.

I'm sure I wasn't the only one holding back tears as these perfect strangers showed their support and appreciation. Suddenly, we realized that we were part of something much bigger.

We weren't just individual runners out to reach a goal. We weren't even the small New Hampshire Disney Team or the regional Massachusetts team. We were part of a special group of people that put their sweat and tears into this challenge. We pushed ourselves physically and mentally. We reached out to friends and family members to help make our fundraising goals.

We helped change lives -- not only our own lives but also those affected by blood cancers.

I don't think I really 'got it' until that very moment when the thousands of runners and families made their way into the hall.

Once inside, we piled our plates with pasta in preparation of our upcoming races. We listened to survivors, participants and others. We celebrated the victories of teams throughout the country.

We, too, celebrated our accomplishments.

When we returned from Disney, we asked Coach Jack and Dave why they didn't tell us what to expect from the Pasta Party. They wanted to leave some surprises, they said. Plus, you can't really describe it and do it justice.

As always, they were right.

1 comment:

  1. After reading your description of the pasta party I have a better understanding of why you were so enthusiastic about your Disney experience when you came home and wanted to do it again.


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