Athlete Name: Pete Olson
Tell us a little about yourself
Excerpt From November 2013 personal blog:
Even without a race recap, many of you – my dozen or so readers – already know that just a few nights ago, I completed my first half marathon down in Orlando at Disney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon. And while I am proud as punch that I, a formerly obese smoker, was able to run 13.1 miles in just a little over two-and-a half hours, I really want this post to be about a few people who are much more inspiring than I’ll ever be. Yes, I’ve lost 100 pounds; yes, as of Monday, I have been smoke-free for two years; and yes, and even though I’m a lot slower than I was twenty-five years ago, I have regained some of my running mojo and have put myself on that proverbial path to my first full marathon in January.
And while all this has required hard work and dedication on my part, walking to my starting corral this past Saturday night, I came to realize that my hurdles have been insignificant little bumps when compared to those of some other people…some real heroes…
…I had some time to think as I made my way through the crowds, and I was reminded of a new Facebook / Team Boomer friend of mine: Steve Bell. As many of you know, I am running for Team Boomer, which is the athletic fundraising side of the Boomer Esiason Foundation to fight and find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis, which is primarily a lung disease against which my niece and nephew have fought their entire lives. Well, Steve battles the same illness, and sometimes he does so fiercely.
I was reminded of Steve because ha had run the New York City Marathon just a week earlier, and although he was disappointed with his performance, the last two sentences of his blog post certainly tell us who he is: Another New York City marathon under my belt. Another great day of celebrating life.
Steve – You are a hero and an inspiration, and I look forward to running “your” race – the New York City Marathon – with you in the years to come!
It’s a good thing I’m not presenting this blog post to my dozen or so followers in person. I’ve already teared up a few times while writing about Steve, and I don’t think I’d be able to get through telling you how my niece Anna was also there with me in spirit (and purely unintentionally) as I prepared for the race.
After making my way into my starting corral around 9:00-ish, I was checking out my phone to see whether Pandora was going to help get me through the miles in front of me. Well, as that app wasn’t loading (14,000 people taking up the 4G airwaves simultaneously), I decided to see whether anything interesting had posted to Facebook…and I saw the following post from my niece Anna: “I just want to be able to breathe, it’s not so much to ask for….”
Standing in a sea of people, I just stared at the post for a few minutes before I tried (unsuccessfully) to respond…because of the whole 4G thing. It wasn’t until a day or two later that I thanked Anna for reminding why I was wearing a Team Boomer shirt.
Anna – You are a hero and an inspiration, and my sincere promise to you, to Aidan, to Steve, and to everybody battling Cystic Fibrosis is that I will continue to run races to raise money to help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. And, no, Anna…it’s not so much to ask for.