By Dr. Blisters Scout Director, Network for LGBT Health Equity A project of The Fenway Institute
Our Marathon Team Converges on New York City
Team LGBT Solvitur Ambulando arise! We haven’t been able to get pics yet, but let me introduce you to our five hearty team members now convening on New York city to run or WALK in the first ever LGBT health charity marathon team in the New York City Marathon.
“Captain Driven” Liz Margolies – You know her as the Executive Director of the National LGBT Cancer Network, our partner organization. She’s the powerhouse who really created this team and she’s putting her lifetime of fast walking those New York streets to good use, she’s recently been clocked at 12 minute walking miles, stoplights included! This is Liz’s first marathon, but her newfound talent for speedwalking might mean it’s not her last. When she’s not leaving Scout behind in her dust, she’s a therapist and trains trainers for the new mandatory LGBT cultural competency training she created for the New York City public hospitals.
“Pink Cadillac” Brett Ritter – Hailing from Texas, our young star Brett trained through 14 straight days in 100 degree heat to be ready for this marathon. You know he might be a little too secure in his masculinity even for those cowboys because he works for Mary Kay in Dallas. But it’s not all about beauty for Brett, he’s active in Lambda Legal and supports many local LGBT community events. Brett, of course, never travels without his husband/masseur. We’ve voted Brett the most likely teammate to ever be driving a pink cadillac, we hope they both pull up to the start line in it. (heels optional)
“Sister (Running is My) Morphine” Andrea – Dec 22, 2009 will be forever etched in Andrea’s life. It’s the day they got the call that her partner Karen had stage 3 breast cancer. Andrea remembers it clearly, “The phone rang and time seemed to pause, temporarily. My memories of the next several minutes are audio and visual snapshots, frozen in time. I see my partner slowly sinking to the ground and handing me the phone.” Over the next weeks and months both Karen and Andrea worked on health and healing, “It didn’t take me long before I decided to find my strength and solace in running. Running has amazing parallels to life. If Karen was going to battle cancer, I would move my daily running into training for a marathon.” Andrea was very proud to cross the finish line of her first marathon the same month Karen had her last cancer radiation treatment!
“Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show” Samuel – Andrea’s younger brother Samuel is a traveling running machine. He’s on a campaign to run a marathon in every single state! So far, he’s done eight states, including an ultra marathon last month in Big Sur. But perhaps for Samuel, this one is the most exciting. He’s very proud to join his sister Andrea, raising money for Solvitur Ambulando in Karen’s name and teaming up for a lifelong dream… to run the NYC marathon. Samuel and Andrea have been some of our star fundraisers, huge congratulations to this inspiring team.
“Schlumpy” Scout – Oh you may think you know me, the flamboyant clothes or fancy talking, but you may not know that I come from a long line of slow and rarely skinny people. No one in my family is terribly competitive, no one is terribly fast, we all love sweets. But we don’t give up, we “Go long!” I’ve always had a dream of running the NYC marathon after I got (briefly) hooked into running during my PhD work in NYC. But one can’t fight one’s inner nature, so I love that I’m instead walking the NYC marathon. I know I’ll finish (someday), but the big question is, can I keep up with my whippet-like partner, Liz?
Still Time to Become a Team Supporter
Wanna show us your love? Wanna walk or run with us virtually as we flow along with (or behind) the crowd of 45,000 as the Marathon steps off this Sunday? Still time to show love by donating here (or http://www.crowdrise.com/lgbthealth/fundraiser/Scout). Or even better, get out and take that long walk Sunday! Thanks again to everyone who’s supporting us already, and remember $100 supporters get a commemorative team tshirt!
Will Captain Driven & Schlumpy Finish Together?
She’s walking a 12 minute mile, I’m bringing a flashlight and likely to stop for lunch en route. Both of us will burn about 2,300 calories either way. But will we finish together? Word is we’ll be interviewed on TV midroute, so be sure to catch that Sunday on NBC sports 2-4 pm EST. Or if you want to see if we really are still together… download the mobile app for your computer or phone. We’ll post all of our marathon team numbers later today so you can get mile by mile updates for the whole team. See details for all coverage and the mobile apps here (aka http://www.nycmarathon.org/Tune_in.htm).