On Monday, April 22nd, over 550 runners and walkers took to the Turkey Creek Greenway to unite with other runners and walkers across the United States in support for the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy. The run began at the store, Fleet Feet Sports Knoxville, and the participants chose between a 2.62 or 4.15 distance. The free event was organized to raise donations for the The One Fund, set up by the City of Boston's Mayor and Governor, to help aid the victims of the bombing.
We were lucky enough to have Nike help us with this event, by providing the shirts that we sold to add additional proceeds to the donation. The Runners for Boston shirts have been a huge hit, allowing us with monetary donations and shirt sales, to donate over $7,000 to The One Fund, thanks to the running community of Knoxville. Fleet Feet is teaming up with Graphic Creations for the screening of the shirts. Jim Caughorn, Graphic Creations' owner and a long time Fleet Feet runner, was all about donating their production services so that more of the proceeds can go to the victims. We are so excited to see the community come together for a great cause, and we can't wait to see the shirts around town; just another way of uniting the running community.
Fleet Feet Knoxville owner, Shahin Hadian, said of the event, “We know that people are reeling from this tragedy and don’t know what they can do to help, which is why we have organized this walk and fundraiser - so that people could have an outlet and come together as a community. It was a tremendous event, and probably one of the best ones we have been able to be a part of.”
While the runners and walkers gathered together before the event began, pastor John Stuart of Erin Presbyterian Church, gave an empowering invocation, and allowed everyone to take a moment of silence and reflection "for everyone affected by this tragedy, for the people of Boston, and for those who will continue to hold on to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness throughout this great nation of ours and across the world." Ending it with the declaration, "TODAY, WE ARE ALL BOSTONIANS! AMEN." could not have been a better send off for the runners and walkers.
As the healing process continues, mere words can’t possibly relay our sadness, heartache and anger in response to these events. But we will not let the acts of a few take away our passion. This is a time for the Fleet Feet Sports community to come together and be resilient. Our brand manifesto speaks to who we are and how we continue to respond. We trample down walls. We bring a nation to their feet. We ignite hearts and inspire emotion. And we are unstoppable. We cannot thank you enough for being UNSTOPPABLE with us!
We are always honored to work alongside the Breakthrough Foundation of Knoxville each year for their Breakthrough Run for Autism 5k race! This year, they had over 500 participants come out to run and walk and show support for a great foundation working to make autistic adults lead an easier life!
Fleet Feet did not limit the fun to one day - we started the event on Thursday night for a special Test Run with Saucony, showcasing the latest footwear and apparel, and letting our Fleet Feet customers take the shoes for a spin around the greenways! Brixx Wood-Fired Pizza in Turkey Creek held a special fundraising night in conjunction with their already popular Trivia Thursday, and donated $3 to every pizza sold to the Breakthrough Foundation! That night, with your help, we were able to contribute another $238 to the foundation!
Fleet Feet Sports Knoxville was glad to be able to contribute to the event on Saturday morning with a water stop and corn hole boards for the post-race party! Several training program participants took the race to get their mileage in and we had many people who placed in their age group! Congratulations to all the finishers of the race! What a great event!
To see more pictures from the event, click here!
In the continued aftermath of the tragic events that occurred at the 117th running of the Boston Marathon, we are left with questions as to why, full of prayers they catch who, and hope for those affected. This week, our No Boundaries 5k & 10k training groups have dedicated their miles of training for those in Boston: the participants, first responders, spectators, and community.
The events in Boston have left us torn emotionally, however we now have more resolve than ever to keep pushing ourselves harder and farther. Together, we will keep the spirit of the people of Boston, the running community, and humanity, UNSTOPPABLE.
We will be having a run/walk on Monday, April 22nd in support of the victims of the Boston tragedy. Click here to read more.
Amy L. Marxkors, author of The Lola Papers: Marathons, Misadventures and How I Became a Serious Runner, wrote this article for Fleet Feet Sports St. Louis, and it articulates how we are runners, supporters and family are all feeling in the wake of the bombings. Thank you, Amy for putting into words what so many are feeling.
"The spirit of the runner cannot be broken.
It is a spirit of strength. Of faith. Of community. Of resilience. Of justice. Of freedom. It knows no barriers of language or ethnicity or gender. It knows not nationality or politics or age. It is not limited to those who run, but extends to their husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, children and friends. It reaches to complete strangers calling out words of encouragement and volunteers holding precious cups of water. It is a spirit of unity and support. It is a spirit that speaks not with words, but with actions.
There are those who will try to break it, who will try to paralyze it with fear, who will try to inject it with trembling, violate it with terror, and intimidate it with threats. There are those who hate it. Who resent it. Who will try to crush it. They will hatch murderous plans and seek its destruction.
But the spirit of the runner cannot be broken, because the spirit of the runner is the human spirit.
The attacks at the Boston Marathon violated more than a race. The time and place were chosen to be as offensive as possible, to be a visible and flagrant affront to that which binds humanity as one. They were directed not just at the runners themselves, but at those we love—those who ride with us the daily ups and downs of training, who listen while we rattle off mile splits, who rejoice in our PRs, who commiserate when we fall short, who remind us to get off our feet the day before the race, who map out intricate race-day navigation plans to catch us at mile four. And ten. And sixteen. And twenty. Those who hold signs and ring cowbells. Those who cheer us on. Those who make it possible for us to reach the start line. Those who do so quietly, without asking for praise or acknowledgment.
Those who wait for us at the finish.
The attacks were calculated to ridicule freedom by victimizing the strong and murdering the innocent. They were intended to fell a community. They were designed to make a mockery of the human spirit.
But far from achieving their aim, the attacks in Boston merely revealed terror’s own cowardice and futility. Even as it sought notoriety and fame, hate exposed its own impotence. In its presumption, fear paid the price of trampling sacred ground.
Because even as the last reverberations from the explosion rumbled through the streets, those who were able rushed to the aid of the fallen. Even as the smoke rose from the wreckage, those who were strong carried the injured to safety. Even as the attacks were planned to create an environment of fear, division, and helplessness, it drove those very things away. Even as it sought to divide, it solidified our oneness, for in that moment there was neither runner nor spectator, neither friend nor stranger, neither elite nor volunteer. In that moment, we were one.
Far from crippling the human spirit, the attacks in Boston galvanized its strength.
We grieve the suffering of those injured and the loss of those who died. We feel the sorrow and pain of those affected. But we will not be broken and we will not surrender, for we are the caretakers of their memory. We are the ambassadors of their strength.
Fear will not keep us from running. Terror will not stop us from racing. No, with every defiant mile, we will proclaim the triumph of the human spirit. We will proclaim it in the early morning before the sun rises and late in the evening when the sun has set. We will proclaim it in the rain, in the cold, in the snow, in the heat, in the wind, and in the fiercest storms. We will proclaim it in the grandest stages of sport, and we will proclaim it when no one is looking. We will proclaim it in the company of others. We will proclaim it in the loneliest of miles. We will proclaim it through pain. We will proclaim it through joy. We will proclaim it even in the midst of tragedy.
For those who conspire to destroy will fail, their plans will come to ruin, their names will fade away and be remembered no more. But we will not lose heart. We will not surrender.
For the spirit of the Boston Marathon is the human spirit, and it will never, ever be broken.
To Boston, with love."
To visit Fleet Feet Sports St. Louis's page, click here.
Long time Fleet Feet Training Group member Christy Keifer placed for the first time at the Twinkle Toes 5K on March 24th! Christy, who has participated in our NoBoundaries 5K training program for several years, just recently upped the ante and is currently training with us for a 10K! Click here to read more!
Amy Newby, Fleet Feet Long Distance Training Group member, traveled down deep in the heart of Texas for the Rock n Roll Dallas Half Marathon to run her FIRST half-marathon! Check out what she has to say about her experience...and check out her time - ZOOM is all we have to say! Click here to read her testimonial!
Just in are Brooks VIP Porta Potty Passes! Potty Like a Rockstar at the Country Music Marathon and 1/2 Marathon! To get your race off to the best possible start, Brooks will have comfortable, climate-controlled restroom trailers set up at the starting line. Running water, flushing toilets, and some Run Happy® surprises await. Click the link below for more info!
How do you get one of those VIP passes, anyway? All you have to do is purchase $100 in Brooks and/or Moving Comfort apparel or Brooks shoes between March 25th and April 24th, 2013 at Fleet Feet Sports Knoxville! Qualifying purchases earn you a potty pass, which you'll need to get in! Limit one pass, per customer - one customer per transaction.
We love Swiftwick at Fleet Feet Sports Knoxville, and knowing that they were created and are based in Nashville, our neighbors, just sweetens the deal a little. Being so close to one another allows us to get some real face time with the company and having Chris drop by for one of our training program runs was awesome! Chris outfitted every training program participant in their own personal pair of Swiftwick socks and educated us on why it is important to invest in a good pair of socks for your workouts. Talk about some tender Tennessee loving care! Thanks Chris & Swiftwick!
Swiftwick socks provide a moisture-wicking fabric, along with compression, to satisfy your feet through any activity. They offer a wide range of styles, like the Aspire, which boasts thin fabric, perfect for runners who prefer less, and the Vibe, with a softer heel bed for some added comfort. We have a slew of options for you at the store, so drop in and check out our local favorites for your sock needs! You'll be glad you did.
The Donna Marathon - February 17, 2013
Several of our Fleet Feeters traveled down for sunnier skies and warmer weather to Jacksonville Beach, Florida for the Donna Marathon. Unfortunately, it was cold and windy at the race but that didn't stop the runners from running or the residents in the local beach communities from cheering! Runner Anne Mathiak reported there was "Only one hill - the bridge over the InterCoastal Canal. Really not all that steep after running in Tennessee." Everyone met their goal and we would like to extend an extra special congratulations to Kristen Lewis for completing her first half-marathon! Way to go everyone - we are so proud of you!
Check race results here.