Saying thank you

Editor: As part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s work to raise funds for blood cancer research and patient care programs, athletes from the Redwood Wine Country “Team in Training” participated in triathlons at Pacific Grove and Santa Cruz over the weekend of September 11 and 12.

On behalf of the entire RWC Team, this letter is a public “thank you” to all those in Sonoma Valley and around the county whose generosity helped make our fundraising effort a great success. Our 23-person team raised over $42,000 for LLS and, together with other LLS teams from around the state, we raised over $600,000 in the four months leading up to these events.

RWC teammates (ages 24 to 70) swam, biked and ran together over a four-month period to get ready for the September 11 Olympic distance triathlon at Pac Grove (1.5k swim, 40k bike and 10k run). Three teammates participated in the half-as-long Sprint triathlon that day, and two did the twice-as-long Half-Ironman triathlon in Santa Cruz. Everyone finished, very alive and happy.

The experience was more than worthwhile. Health-wise, the training was invaluable and a lot of money was raised for a great cause. Those who think they could never do a triathlon for LLS should not sell themselves short. There were a number of physically challenged athletes who took part in these grueling events, some of whom were TNT team members and all of whom can justifiably be called world class.

Our team captain, Rachael Fraley-Brinker of Boyes Hot Springs, also took the definition of “team spirit” to a new level. She swam, biked and/or ran with us almost every weekend during training, even though she was not going to do the triathlon because she was pregnant. Yet she was in Pac Grove on Race Weekend to help the Team with logistics and offer her support.

To those considering whether to sign up for a LLS “Team In Training” (TNT) experience: It will be worth it. Visit teamintraining.org to learn more about this rewarding way to get fit and have fun. If “triathlon” sounds intimidating, not to worry. TNT offers walking, biking, hiking and running events to meet a variety of interests and abilities; and training, coaching and the support of teammates is built into the program.

For sure, it made my teammates and I appreciate even more our many friends and neighbors in Sonoma Valley and the county, without whose generosity and encouragement we could not have achieved our goals. On behalf of the Team and the thousands of people benefiting every day from the work and hope provided by LLS: we can’t thank you enough.
Bob Edwards
Sonoma


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