From the USATF National website, under Community Outreach: “USA Track & Field is committed to being a community leader both on and off the track.”

While Team Nebraska may be known as one of the top Elite Development Clubs in the U.S. it is our work locally that represents the very best of what our sport has to offer.  It is easy to recognize our charitable deeds this time of year, and in June with our Big Blue Run prostate cancer awareness event.

It is however our efforts to promote the sport across all levels of age and abilities that makes us most proud.  Our kids run program (Thank you Linda), calendar of road and xc and trail races (Thank you RRM committee), and Omaha Endurance Group program (Thank you Everyone!) are at the very core of Team Nebraska’s contribution towards a more healthy, active, and social Nebraska.

You know I like to talk long and longer about this but today I’m sharing a quote that sums up this essence of community spirit and service.

From Kathy Palmer: “I wanted to thank you both for the kind words on Wed night at the track.  To even think that you guys thought of me at all for any sort of recognition is absurd to me – but I was very excited to hear it and it meant the world to me.  I certainly do not deserve any such award – as there are people who have done many more things than me.  Other people have progressed a ton, come through very difficult situations, gotten medals, etc. – I am really not any different than anyone else.  But for me – I know what I’ve done – and I am proud at what I have accomplished.  But it’s not any different than anyone else on that track – everyone should be proud of what they accomplish every day!  On the track/Lake Z and elsewhere.  Look at Jody.  She can’t run now, but she continues to accomplish so much with the running community and she is still our biggest fan/supporter/etc.  In fact, her NOT running might just be award-worthy – I think that is taking more guts (for her) than a lot of what any of us do!”

Kathy hit it right on the head.  It isn’t just about the fast and furious, it is about recognizing the relative accomplishments of us all, regardless of ability.  It is about giving back to a much larger community, inspiring others to take that first step, modeling hard work and perseverance in the face of difficulties.  Recognizing and encouraging the social aspect of our sport, the good we can do for each other trumping any individual achievements or honors.

Be sure to come out on Sunday for the Hair of the Dog Run.  WOWT Channel 6 will also be airing a segment on the run and Team Nebraska Sunday morning between 8 and 9.  Thanks for being part of our community.