TEAM SBH DISNEY HALF MARATHON
The year of the Trainers
WOW, The word heard most during the Team SBH Disney Half Marathon Weekend in Orlando Florida.
Really a Great weekend, From the unbelievable SBH Staff making sure everything was perfect from Hotel Check-in, to food, transportation and entertainment etc…. With over 800 people from all ages in our group , Team SBH made everything seamless making sure everything was taken care of. To the Lunches and Dinners with some incredible and inspirational speeches from so many amazing people and committee members. And who could forget the incredible concert to cap it all off with Dan Miz, RJ2 (Richie Chalme & Joe Gindi) featuring DJ Cohen, Abe Franco, Arty Schwecky and their awesome band.
And of course the running. We had a record turnout of Team SBH runners this year in the half marathon as well as featuring the 5k race for our younger runners mostly between the ages of 6-14.
The 5k race was special – we had about 80 kids running. The buses left at 5am for a 6am race. The kids were excited and so many people came along to cheer them on. It was a great race running through Epcot center. The future of SBH running is looking strong as we had some very fast runners with some running a sub 8 minute per mile pace. We can’t wait to see what this kids will do once they get to run the half. A big Shout out to all the 5k SBH Trainers who organized running events prior to the race and helped these kids prepare for this run.
And now to the Half Marathon – Wow – We had over 300 runners with the first bus leaving at 3:45 am. All different age groups from High Schoolers to Grandparents running this race.
The starting line was crazy as there is over 20,000 people running this race and everyone is assigned a different Corral and its still dark outside. The trainers on the course were discussing the day before on how to keep track of everyone and help them along. They came up with a plan and hoped for the best.
The race began - Starting first was one of our biggest inspirations Cheri Srour being pushed by her Brother-in-law and OPR Co-Founder Solly Elmann. Cheri convinced Disney last year to allow her to be pushed through the race with her never give up and #BecauseICan attitude. Solly and Cheri finished in under 1:45 minutes. A superhero run for these 2 superstars. WOW.
After them our fastest trainer and OPR member Elliot Simhon zoomed out with 2 of our fast OPR runners Michael Beyda and Saul Kassin. Wow, are these guys fast running a Sub 7 minute per mile pace. Michael came in 1st for Team SBH and 21st overall with a time of 1:30 with Saul and Elliot a few minutes behind holding hands in the air and finishing together. WOW
Everyone started in different corrals with runners and trainers spread throughout the course. The Race starts with fun and excitement as we make our way to the Magic Kingdom and the Team SBH cheer squad. The energy they give all the runners is awesome and its one of the best parts of the race. Once out of the park there is about 6 miles left and a couple big hills and this is when the trainers plan fell into place.
Some Trainers ran with a few runners from beginning to end helping them keep their pace and cross that finish line as a team. From Miles 7 to a 11 we had 2 trainers at each mile running back and forth multiple times helping runners get to the next mile. The teamwork and camaraderie worked to perfection. There was a trainer every time a runner needed some support or a push to get through to the next mile.
Watching all these trainers putting the runners first was really special. From Randy Cohen and Adam Azrak helping runners to the next mile. To Gary Levy pumping up the crowd. To Jack Ezon and Ralph Nasar Running up the hill at Mile 10 multiple times and putting in over 20 miles of running. To Alyssa Shamah staying on the course to help runners that she missed the cutoff time and had to jump on a bus.To David Balassiano finishing arm in arm with his 2 childhood friends David Mosseri and Lawrence Dayan. To Jack Mosseri and Lisa Elo crossing the Finish line with DJ Cohen. To Ari Baum running on the course through Mud to cross the finish line with his wife Sima. And of course to head trainer Michele Levy who paced SBH president Lee Cohen through the course.
Every Trainer had a purpose at this event – From the multiple e-mails and group runs before the trace, to the 5k and to the race itself. Everything worked to perfection. WOW.
So to all the trainers:
Thank you very much for making this an unbelievable half marathon experience for all the Team SBH runners. We cannot wait until next year.