It's all about the kids!
This beautiful group of kids are all cancer survivors. Last month they shined as they strutted down a fashion runway at the Chase Center on the Wilmington Riverfront for an annual fundraiser. I was privileged enough to be a part of that day.
These heroes and their families have spent countless hours and many sleepless nights at Nemours Children Hospital. I can't even imagine.
As many of you know each year I gather up a group of wine-drinking runners to train for a Fall marathon while raising funds for a children's charity. I pick a different Marathon and a different charity each year... for 2015 I chose Kids Runway for Research which is a Delaware non-profit all-volunteer run organization that spreads awareness about the importance of Pediatric Cancer Research and raises money for the Nemours Pediatric Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.
The FranksWine.com Marathon Team has raised over $12,000 for Kids Runway for Research... and over $120,000 for children's charities since 2008!
(Stacie Maheurin, Ryan German, Van Olmstead, Mark Miller,
Ed "Boxcar" Hospodar, Betty Olmstead, and Frank Pagliaro)
We started in May with most of us running the ½ Marathon at the Delaware Marathon Running Festival where our team and the crew at FranksWine on North Union Street hosted a Champagne Tent at the Finish Line! The highlight of that May 10th day was that our very own beer geek from the shop ran her first ½ Marathon... congrats again Stacie!
Next up was DETROIT! Our group was small last weekend due to injuries to some of our runners, and just life in general which got in the way for a few others. Betty and Van did the International ½ Marathon and Ryan and I did the full. You know Ryan German from Caffé Gelato in Newark where we host many dinners/tastings throughout the year.
The 7 AM start of the race was dark as night and a crisp 32º. I knew that Ryan was going to lineup with the 3:10 pace group so I went there to look for him and wish him good luck. I never found him. The gun went off and as 27,000+ runners headed towards the Ambassador Bridge to cross into Canada it started to snow! Perfect.
The crowd support was great at the start and a few other points along the course, but otherwise it was pretty desolate until a mile or so before the finish. I thought I spotted Ryan at one point around mile 16, but it was his brother Micah who also ran. I even saw Ryan's wife Shannon when we were running out of Belle Isle Park.
But still no sign of Ryan.
Then just as I was approaching the Finish Line I spot Ryan and managed to somehow sprint up to him, put my hand on his back, and crossed the finish line together! That's just kinda crazy...
Huge fist bump to the super friendly people of Detroit! After the Marathon I started out at Slows Bar BBQ in Corktown for great food and a few pints. While waiting for my Uber car to arrive to take me back to the hotel to nap for a few hours, I got dragged into this dive bar - LJ's - by a local who said "hey marathoner, get in here I wanna buy you a drink!" Four hours later I found myself still hanging out with the coolest group of strangers I've ever met: a nurse, a FedEx driver, a mason, a chef, social worker, a lawyer, an IT girl, and Larry in the red jacket who was a Detroit fireman for 37 years.
Leaving there to meet up with the rest of the team was hilarious... Hugs, handshakes, fist bumps, exchanging of business cards and numbers... you would've thought I knew these guys my whole life! Each of them thanked me for bringing my team to Detroit... I thought that was pretty cool. They called me "Philadelphia Frank".
Then I met the cool owners Dave and Melissa at Motor City Wine... I've never seen such an eclectic group of people all hodgepodged in one spot: hipsters, professionals, white, black, twentysomethings, sixtysomethings, all obviously from different walks of life... all locals dancing up a storm on the same dance floor to the same music! Outside on the patio was a totally different vibe with everyone sitting around a fire pit drinking great wine out of rocks glasses. Met a couple of really cool Canadian dudes. Up since 4 AM I finally made it back to my hotel room at 1 AM, best 21 hours in a marathon city I've ever spent!
Go to Detroit!
"Boston Marathon 2014"
In 2014 Frank kicked off the season and ran BOSTON on Monday, April 21st... Next up the entire team ran the Delaware Marathon Running Festival on Sunday, May 11th. Then on October 12th the 11 of us headed out to the mid-West for the Chicago Marathon! The 2014 children's charity which benefitted from our grueling training was the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
We raised a total of $29,403!!
When our bus pulled up at 6:15am there was already a lot flurry in the sleepy town of Hopkinton as I'm sure many of you saw on CNN (I was looking for Anderson Cooper to throw him a baba booey, but no luck) or one of the other hundred news stations that were set up all around this tiny New England village. After last year's nonsense as the race clock hit that dreaded 4:09:43 it appeared that the whole world was watching this stage on this very day.
Waiting around for 4 hours for the race to start was torturous, but at least I was in porto-potty heaven. This was my 11th marathon and 2nd Boston and in those races I was still soundly asleep those 4 hours before the start. But at least I had my choice of relief to settle my nerves.
I knew that big marathons would never be the same after last year, but the sight of every athlete getting "wanded" by US Marshalls as they entered their corral seemed a bit over-the-top. I guess that'll be the new norm...
Finally at 10:20am the gun for Wave 2 goes off and immediately I look down at my Garmin watch to check my pace. I wanted to be conservative at the start so I wouldn't crash and burn on the infamous Newton hills like I did last year. It wasn't until around mile 3 when I finally took notice of the thick crowd of spectators screaming at the top of their lungs with their hands extended wanting a little love from each runner that passed by. Until that time I was trying to get into my zone with arms tucked closely to my side, concentrate on my breathing and have Coldplay, U2, The Stones and others on my iPod take me to the finish.
Then I realized where I was.
This was the Boston after last year's horrific Boston.
These million+ spectators came out in droves with their children, spouses and best friends and lined the 26.2 mile course to cheer me on and I'm in my own zone? I ripped out my earbuds and threw them off to the side. I made my way over to the curb and ran with my left arm up slapping as many hands as possible. When that arm tired I zig-zagged my way over to the other side and raised my right arm high-5ing kids, grandmothers, drunks, police (that really got the crowd riled up!) and anyone else who wanted some love.
I pretty much did everything a marathoner shouldn't do: zig-zag the course, ignore their pace, and exert unnecessary energy. But I didn't care. This was the first race I can ever remember where I wasn't constantly looking at my pace watch.
I was wearing a yellow Delaware Running Co singlet and all I heard for the next 20+ miles was "go Delaware", "looking strong Delaware", "you rock Delaware"... even heard a "go Dewey Beach" and "Joe Biden sucks" along the way!
Not only was the crowd giving out shouts of encouragement I was pretty much being an amenities whore grabbing everything from M&M's to orange slices - freeze pops to cold sponges - tissues to Twizzlers - Vaseline to hand-made blue & yellow rubber band bracelets - water bottles to red Solo cups of beer! I represented Delaware well each time I grabbed a beer... the buzzed Boston College frat boys yelled in unison "DELAWAAAAARE!"
The crowd kept me going and when I hit those Newton hills I blew by dozens of runners who were walking... the screams seemed louder. But nothing was louder than the infamous Tunnel of Scream from those boy-crazy Wellesley College girls begging for kisses. I didn't stop, but my pace slowed to assure that I gave attention to each and every one of them;-)
When I saw mile marker 25 I actually felt bummed that my incredulous Boston experience was about to end in 8 minutes. I slowed my pace even more to make it last longer. When I finally turned left onto Boyleston Street towards Copley Square I saw the exact spot where the 2nd bomb went off which killed 3 innocent people... and there in that exact spot I saw people shouting their support with their fists pumping in the air. I cut across and jumped up on the curb inches from the barricade and ran the last .2 with both arms in the air through the hands of a thousand Bostonians.
I jumped across the Finish Line looked back and screamed "THANK YOU!"
See you next year, Boston...
"Back from Boston Safely 2013"
Matt Dunn (left) of Trappe, Md., and Frank Pagliaro of Kennett Square, Pa.,
look at the Boston Globe newspaper Tuesday after arriving back in Delaware
at the New Castle Airport from the Boston Marathon a day after the bombing.
SUCHAT PEDERSON/THE NEWS JOURNAL
Boston... From Running Shoes To Corkscrews
And A Lot Of Senseless Bullshit In Between
At this moment I am sitting on a bus with the Delaware Sports Club headed back to Wilmington from my first Boston Marathon. As I thumb through the Boston Globe I look forward to reading about the race and the day's winners. Instead I see nothing but horrifying pictures of bloodshed and chaos. Not a winning smile on these pages.
I want to remember the day by the pictures shown above: Happily awaiting the start in Hopkinton with tons of nervous excitement; and the end of the day in Natick with running friends celebrating with wine.
That is not realistic.
What keeps popping in my head are the thousands of spectators along yesterday's 26.2 mile course cheering me on... "GO DELAWARE!" was what I heard over and over as they read my bright yellow Delaware Running Company singlet. The excitement was infectious. Sad when I think if any of the 144 injured or 3 dead shouted to me... or if I slapped their hand as I approached the final few hundred yards of the race.
Fortunately I finished about 35 minutes before the explosions, and I was about 3 blocks away at that time where our bus was parked. I didn't hear either boom, only the sound of sirens for hours after them.
We waited for hours at the bus for a few guys in our group who didn't make it to the finish before the race was halted. They came back one by one with their own story... we gave them hugs and high-fives. It was a relief when we finally pulled up to the hotel. I didn't know the severity of the goings-on until we got back to our hotel in Natick, about 16 miles from Boyleston Street.
All 28 of us went out as a group for dinner but not much was said about the explosions... I think we were all just too damn disgusted with it. Instead we focused on our group captain, Doug White, who at 71 years old ran his 40th consecutive Boston! His family and many of his old-timer running buddies roasted him at dinner. It was a great way to end such a chaotic day.
When I got back to the hotel I spent over an hour responding to the hundreds of Facebook posts from my friends and family letting me know of their relief that I was okay. Thank you all for reaching out to me; I've never felt such a spread of love:-)
We're about 3 1/2 hours away from the New Castle County Airport where we'll all get into our cars and go our own separate ways. I didn't know many runners on this bus when I got on, but I know I'll be lacing up with many of them soon.
At this point I look forward to hugging my daughters and kissing my wife... glad they didn't make it to Boston this year. Sad that I feel that way.
Wineglass MARATHON RECAP!
On September 30th, 2012 the FranksWine.com Marathon Team ran the Wineglass Marathon in New York's Finger Lakes region this past Sunday. It was a success all around... together our team of 19 wine-drinking runners raised $15,232 for Girls on the Run of Delaware!
I finally got the BQ monkey off my back and nailed my qualifying time to run in the Boston Marathon... Kathy Nguyen hit her planned sub-4 hour... Leisa Campbell ran a PR... Chris Linzey successfully ran his first Marathon... and Betty Olmstead ran the Half in her planned time. In other words the FranksWine.com Marathon Team kicked some serious Corning glASS!
May 13, 2012 was our 1st TEAM Spring Marathon! The beauty of the Delaware Marathon Running Festival is that we had our choice of races depending on our running ability and training: Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 4-person Relay and 8-person Relay. A few of us were fit and ready to pounce the streets of Wilmington for 26.2 miles (CONGRATS to Krista Lauterwald and Brian Louis!); most of us planned on using the 1/2 (CONGRATS to Matt Mascitti, Betty Olmstead and Frank Pagliaro!) or the 4-person Relay (CONGRATS Leisa Campbell, Kathy Nguyen, and Carla Pastore!) as a stepping-stone to our Fall Marathon... the camaraderie of the FranksWine.com Marathon Team kept us going! All runners were rewarded at the Finish Line with a medal AND entry into the FranksWine Champagne Tent... a huge hit for everyone!
TWIN CITIES MARATHON RECAP!
It was a picture perfect day for the 30th running of the "Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in America" on Sunday, October 2nd! The FranksWine.com Marathon Team started out with 6 runners back in January, but injuries, obligations and time constraints sidelined half the team by the summer just as our 18-week training schedule kicked in. On Marathon Sunday just before 8am - 45 degrees, cloudless and zero humidity! - Bobby Lougheed, Troy Brady and myself lined up at the start of the Twin Cities Marathon ready to trek 26.2 miles from the Metrodome in Minneapolis to the State Capitol in St Paul. The crowd support was awesome from the start to the finish... I thought only New York could pull that off!
Locals from MN pictured with Bobby (#9094) and Frank (#8551)
As many of you know the FranksWine.com Marathon Team runs with a purpose. I gather up fellow winos and runners and we train for a yearly Fall Marathon while we raise funds for various children's charities. Each year I choose a different city and charity (2012 TBD, suggestions are welcome!)... since 2008 we've run NYC, Marine Corps, Baltimore, Twin Cities and have raised over $55,000! The Children's Tumor Foundation was the benefitting organization for our fundraising efforts in 2011 and together we raised over $12,000! Sunday night we raised our glasses and made a toast to all of you who so kindly donated... we genuinely appreciate your support.
Frank, Bobby & Troy
Even though our team was small this year The Children's Tumor Foundation was ecstatic by our fundraising which by the way wraps up on November 2nd, so there's still time to contribute! I really admire Bobby and Troy who both trained for their first Marathon in the summer heat and humidity, and at the same time were able to focus on seeking contributions. Bobby gets a special shout out for his determination to cross the finish line even though his IT band popped at mile 16... he ran, jogged, walked and hobbled over the last 10.2 miles. A DNF never crossed his mind... he was in it for the bling!
If you are interested in joining the FranksWine.com Marathon Team...
We'll meet for training runs, preparation races (5K, 10K, 10 Miler, 1/2 Marathon) and on race day as we enjoy the cameraderie along the course!
Join the FranksWine.com Marathon Team and you'll get:
* Free entry into the TBD 2012 Fall Marathon
* Free FranksWine.com Marathon Team long-sleeve technical running shirt
* Free bottle of wine after every long run or preparation race you complete with Frank!
* Unlimited 25% Off all Wine at Frank's Union Wine Mart thru day after Marathon
* Unlimited 15% Off all Wine Dinners and Wine Tasting Events sponsored by Frank's
Union Wine Mart thru day after Marathon
All you need to do is send an email to Team Host and Chief Wine Frank Pagliaro Frank@FranksWine.com with your request to join... and you must be able commit to raising a minimum of $1,026.20 for the TBD children's charity. We'll set you up with your own online fundraising page and provide an 18-week training program that's individualized for your ability and goals to complete the Marathon. So whether you're a seasoned Marathoner or a first-timer join the FranksWine.com Marathon Team and you'll have all the support (and fun!) along the way!