Category Archives: On the Run

Boilermaker 2015 – Racing And Paying It Forward

Utica Boilermaker 2015 - Start line selfiesEmily and Howard sharing a start line selfie with Team Rocket

For the first time Amanda and I had another wheelchair team to start with at the Boilermaker, a young lady named Emily with her dad Howard pushing.  It was wonderful to have met them.   Emily is about 12 years old, trapped in a body that doesn’t work, but I could see the charming young lady hiding inside. They where only the second wheelchair team to start the 15 km race, Amanda and I being the first team to do the race in 2011.

Both Emily and her dad Howard were excited to be there, it was their first time at this race as a team. Howard being a local area resident and runner had done the 15 km a few times by himself, but this was the first time with his daughter.  It was also the first race for their new racing chair.

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John Hancock Honors Team Hoyt with Boston Marathon Statue

TeamHoytStatueI know that for some, this is old news (April 2013), but this was the first time I’ve seen the completed statue.

YouTube: John Hancock Honors Team Hoyt with Boston Marathon Statue

Rick and Dick Hoyt (Team Hoyt) have been an inspiration to many and in particular, to Amanda and myself.  We’ve had the pleasure to qualify and start the Boston Marathon with Team Hoyt four times over the years.  I was inspired to train, push myself and qualify both of us so I could share the Boston experience with Amanda.

It’s surprising to me that according to Snopes, Team Rocket was only the second wheelchair team to complete the distance in Boston. I would have thought that there were more people crazy enough to qualify pushing a wheelchair.

My Mantra

All Gods critters have their place in the choir,
Some sing low, some sing higher.
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire.
Some just clap their hands, or paws, or anything they’ve got, now!

This is my mantra and I repeat it over and over. It is my “little engine that could” and it keeps me traveling forward, first with my left foot, then my right. It helps move me. It’s not a lot, but it is enough.

It is a deceptively simple song called “A Place In The Choir”, written by Bill Staines in 1978. It starts with the chorus and has just five verses of four lines each. However, I only repeat the chorus, mostly because I can’t remember all the verses, but also because it’s too hard to think through the haze that stands between remembrance and self. My daughter, Lauren taught it to me when she was ten years old. She in turn heard it as a campfire song at Guide camp. I liked this quirky, innocent song, so I went looking for it. I found a guitar tab on the Internet and reformatted so that both my daughter and I could read it. It’s one of the many songs we perform for ourselves at home. We are a guitar and ukulele duo, accompanying an unlikely duet. One has a beautiful young voice and the other, an older, straining one.

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On The Run – Relaunch

The web site has been updated and we are now running on WordPress rather than custom code.  It should be easier to post essays and updates.

I’ve already redesigned both the Around The Bay Training and the Chair Pushers Guide, so both should be easier to navigate around and find what you want quicker.

I’ll be adding in all the content from the old web site in the next while as well as adding new content. More changes will be made as we tart up the design, so watch your step, it’s a construction zone.  If you find a missing link or problem, just drop me a line and I’ll fix it up.

Mark G. Collis

My Triathlon Bike Saddle Evolution

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On the back half of the bike course on the 2012 Mont Tremblant Ironman.
On the second lap, I hit a personal cycling speed record of 92 kph.

A bike seat is a very personal choice. You spend a lot of time on one of the five contact points between you and your bike. If it isn’t working for you, there will be a lot of pain and discomfort during all those hours spent training and racing. Also, if you aren’t comfortable, you’ll lose efficiency and by inference speed which equals time on your bike split.

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