We wear Red shirts. We have an epic playlist of 80’s music, packs of Twizzlers, Gu and Clif Bars. We are Angels for My Team Triumph and ready for 26.2 miles at the Grand Rapids Marathon.

myTEAM TRIUMPH is an athletic ride-along program created for children, teens, adults, and veterans with disabilities who would normally not be able to experience endurance events such as triathlons or road races.”  Seriously, how cool is that?

I love My Team Triumph. (MTT) My first experience was in the fall of 2018 with the LMCU 10 mile Bridge Run. Since then, I have done the Metro Health Grand Rapids Half Marathon, Alger Heights 5k, (in which I dressed up as Indiana Jones) The Amway 25K River Bank Run, the 2019 LMCU Bridge Run, and this last weekend, the Grand Rapids Marathon.

For years, I ran for myself. For my PR. For my personal goals. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that, and I do love to challenge myself. But, with MTT, you push your goals aside, and push one amazing Captain! And, for the GR Full, we pushed for Captain Kristen.

Who is “We”? My running friends, (from L to R) Corey, a fellow MTT Member from the Wisconsin Chapter, Dan, me, Janene, and Amber. And in the middle, the star of the 26.2 miles, Captain Kristen! (this pic taken at mile 10)

My alarm rang at 5:15. I got dressed, put on my Smartwool socks, laced up my Brooks Adrenaline shoes, and drove downtown. We arrived at 6:30. MTT had a wonderful hospitality tent loaded with snacks, bagels, and even bacon!

We met Captain Kristen, got our assignment from Directors Terrence and Tim, and we headed to the start line. We huddled up, prayed for our protection and strength, (remember, we are to pray about everything) and snapped a quick pic!

We took turns pushing our Captain 26.2 miles through Grand Rapids. We laughed a lot! We cranked the music loud! We encouraged other runners along the way. But here’s something amazing about MTT, every runner LOVES every Captain! Captains love hearing a cheer, a personal “way to go”, and MTT Angels always get some love, too!

We loved the shade at mile 20 as things were warming up in a hurry!

But, it’s not about us as Angels, MTT is about the Captain! In fact, although we wear a bib, we do not get a finishing time. The time belongs to the Captain! And, WE have the time of our life!

A little blurry, but that’s what sweat’ll do after 25 miles!

So why do MTT? As Dan once said to me, “We’ve raced enough for ourselves. It’s time to give back!” It is just so sweet to see the faces of the Captain’s families when we cross the finish line. We give those families a chance to experience something that we take for granted. We have our health. We have our abilities. Together, we have a finish line!

Totally the BEST DAY EVER!!

I want to take a moment and thank my friends Amber, Dan and Janene. We’ve all run a LOT of miles together! We’ve encouraged each other. Sweat with each other. Shared stories of struggle and pain. And, we conquered 26.2 miles together! I’m so grateful for each of you! You’ve each made me stronger in more ways than you know. Thanks also to my wife, Patty, and my oldest son, Casey, for cheering us in as we finished! What a wonderful surprise!

And, I just have to brag on Dan for a second. This was Dan’s very first marathon. While his official time didn’t count, we now share a PR of 4:13:31. Besides, the memories will always outlast a P.R. Dan, I’m proud of ya, Bro! You’re not only speedy, you’re the most encouraging runner I know! Thanks for teaching and leading us all.

So, what are YOU waiting for? I highly encourage you to connect with MTT. Race for someone else. They will love on you, and you will LOVE being an Angel.

Keep making a difference, and Run By Faith!

Join the Conversation


  1. It’s awesome to see pure joy on all your faces in each picture! Especially your team captain! How happy and thrilled she must have been to have such an awesome team with her. What a beautiful memory for all of you!

    Liked by 1 person

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