TORONTO August 18th. Bonnie Fowler created the Dream Team to help every runner finish strong at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Here is her story:
Oftentimes people see runners and can’t imagine themselves in their shoes. From my personal experience, running with others helps! On the days I’m hurting from aches and pains, the thought of letting down my fellow runners hurts even more, so I push through. We all know that running a marathon is extremely demanding, both physically and mentally, but running with others creates a community, and that community helps with the difficult training process.
Last year I ran my first marathon, and I am definitely not your typical marathon athlete. The training was physically hard and mentally demanding for me, like it is for so many others. There is no way I would have been able to complete the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon without the help, support and encouragement of my team!
Jack Kearns, a very special man to me in his 70’s, paced me for the entire marathon. At 32km, my body and mind were struggling to find the answer to the question “why did I decide to do this?”, and then we ran into my chiropractor, Jimmy Feng. Shortly after, we also found some amazing, supportive friends that I had met through the Running Room–Catherine Lui, Jason Ng and Ace Quan. This was my own personal Dream Team. Together they got me through the last 10K with their words of encouragement, advice and knowledge. They even carried my water bottles at some point. I know I could not have done it without them.
When I reached the finish line I was so overwhelmed that I didn’t know how to react. I was caught speechless, which is rare for me. The community I had become a part of at the Markham Running Room, who had supported and encouraged me through it all, was there with me to the last second of my goal. It was a moment in my life I will never forget.
The support I received from my own Dream Team planted a seed in my head to help create a Dream Team for others like me. We are not the fastest, but we run with the goal of completing the race by simply putting one foot in front of the other.
After a few phone calls, I proposed the idea to members of the Markham Running Room who jumped at the chance to help others. And so the Dream Team was formed! I cannot describe in words the family atmosphere that exists there. You can feel it when you walk in the door for run club. In the giving spirit of the Markham Running Room we now have a team of 50! When Brooks heard about our story they jumped on board and willingly offered to supply us with shirts!
Come race day, look for the Dream Team in black and neon yellow shirts to help get you to the finish line! A few of us will be on bicycles, but the majority will be running relay (each runner will be doing 1/4km), with you, the runners, being the baton. So if you’re having a difficult time, you’ll be passed on to the next runner who will get you to the next. Remember, one foot in front of the other.
Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.
— Henry Ford
See you at the finish line!
Frequently Asked Questions about the Dream Team.
What is the Dream Team?
The Dream Team is a group of 50 volunteers who support runners and walkers struggling to complete the marathon at STWM.
Where will the Dream Team be located?
They will be spread out every 250m from 32km to the Finish Line of the marathon. They will be positioned along the last 10k of the marathon route.
How will we find them on race day?
All members of the Dream Team will be wearing black Brooks t-shirts with the Dream Team logo in neon. See photo above.
What if I’m struggling or stop and I can’t find a Dream Team member to encourage me along?
2 volunteers on bikes will be patrolling the last 10km of the route and will spot you. When they do, they will inform the closest volunteer of your whereabouts, and that volunteer will come and meet you.
I would love to be one of the Dream Team Members, how can I sign up?
Bonnie Fowler, the coordinator and founder of the Dream Team, has filled all 50 spots on the team, but please contact her as there may be cancellations. firstname.lastname@example.org