The Dash

12 10 2007

Below is an inspirational message from F4-Denver Head coach, Brian Klink to those competing in Sunday’s Denver Half or Full Marathon.   Of course, his message will also help those preparing for other races throughout the year.

June 23 – Oct 14, 2007. June 23rd and October 14―they are big days for sure. June 23rd was our big Kick-Off Event about 16 weeks ago. Of course, October 14 is the really ‘Big Day.’ June 23rd and October 14th are big days, but what about all the days in between? June 23 – Oct 14. Those days in between are symbolized by a small, insignificant dash. How inappropriate!!


If we were to go back and recall those ‘dash’ days, those days in between, we would remember a lot of long, slow, Zone 1 running; a time trial; some pace work; a half marathon in the mountains; running up the base of Lookout Mountain; early mornings; late evenings; some fun at Red Rocks; maps, directions, signs, and busy streets; some speed intervals on the track; tight and tired muscles; soreness; milestones, accomplishment, small victories, major triumphs, and feelings of satisfaction; Clif Shots and Gatorade; well-deserved rest; running the entire race course; great stuff from the nutritionist; a 4000 member Memory Walk, a Latino festival, and a parade; journaling (some better than othersJ); zones, heart rates, and paces; strides and dynamics; preparation time organizing drinks, bars, and gels; hi-5s, hi-4s, hugs, and congratulations; laughing and even shedding some tears. Hardly seems right that a ‘dash’ could contain all that effort and energy. Even so, I’m proud of you and all you’ve accomplished in your ‘dash.’


Some of you were unable to finish the season with us. Some of you we will not see at the start line on Sunday. I want you to know that you’re just as valued, and I’d like you to recall all the hard work that you put in as well. That hard work will count for the future, and I hope that future holds another Denver Marathon or FastForward  program for you. If it didn’t happen for you this season, we look forward to coaching you to your goals in an upcoming group training season.


At the beginning of the season, your coaches and I asked you to let your family, friends, and coworkers know you were undertaking something big. We encouraged you to ask for their understanding, support, and patience. We also gently warned you that you most likely would encounter some challenges and obstacles along the way. Your coaches and I agree―you all have shown tremendous heart in overcoming life’s obstacles to get to the start line of Sunday’s race. You’ve sacrificed in other life areas in order to put in hours of training. You’ve risen early on Saturday mornings, while the rest of the world sleeps, to run high mileage under the hot sun. You’ve put up with pain, sore joints, and that nagging voice in your head saying, “What the ____ are you doing out here?! Stop now and the pain will be over!” You’ve already proven you have what it takes to turn in a great marathon or half-marathon performance―the discipline and dedication to see things through to the end. Remember your own personal ‘dash,’ all the hard work and energy that’s gone into your training. So on Sunday, go out and enjoy the race. Rekindle the love of running and fitness. Give it your all – 100%, and remember the words of East Coast multisport Coach Troy Jacobson, “Ultimately, your finish time is not what’s important…rather, it’s about who you are deep inside, your pride, your integrity and your ability to see things through, no matter how difficult.”


This season, I’ve seen you reach deep down within and find something you didn’t know was there. I’ve seen you reach heights you may not have thought possible. Congratulations on your ‘dash’ and for completing an incredible season. Your coaches and I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of your training, and we’re more than proud of all you’ve accomplished over the hot summer months. You should be proud as well and confident that, because of your completion of the best training program around, you are as well prepared as you can be. Your ‘dash’ has brought you to the start line. The completion of your goal race is just icing on the cake. You have what it takes―you’ve already shown that. Just remind yourself of that Sunday morning.




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