American Odyssey Relay 2012

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What better way for 12 people to get to know one another than to ride in a van together for 24-36 hours.  The American Odyssey Relay 2012 was held on April 26-27th and it provided just such an opportunity for a road trip. The event was incredible in every sense of the word; from the camaraderie to the tremendous support from surrounding communities the race was spectacular.  The 200 mile relay race from Gettysburg to DC had plenty of fun runs and beautiful scenes along the way.  But, it was also a great way to help unite the Team Red, White & Blue community while raising awareness for our cause.

I was amazed by the prevalence of people “wearing the Eagle.” It seemed that at every transition point I would come across several people in Team Red, White & Blue gear cheering on their teammates and supporting other runners in true TRWB fashion.  Running through Gettysburg, a place with so much military history, I felt so proud to be supporting an organization devoted to helping our nation’s wounded veterans and their families.  It is this same cause that inspired our whole team, most of us strangers who had never met before this race, to run hard and leave nothing in the tank.  One member of our team, Kevin Fussell, a pulmonologist from Georgia said it best, “As everyone told me before the race it is the most fun you will ever have running, and having now experienced it I completely agree.  One of the things I appreciated the most was that everyone ran with the same heart and toughness, and the only thing separating us was our level of fitness and talent.  Nobody was just calling it in.  That meant something to me, and it pushed me to give it my all even when I wasn’t sure what I was capable of doing.”

The Odyssey Relay provided a great way to meet new friends and run into some old ones as well.  The race is an amazing reflection of the core mission of Team Red White, and Blue.  Our relay team struggled together, bonded, and supported each other in order to achieve a common goal when we finished the race.  This is no different than what happens every day in the Team RWB community; advocates, athletes, and wounded warriors are almost always strangers, yet they bond over shared interests.  Our advocates and veterans meet in local communities, strive towards goals together, struggle through life’s hurdles, and create long term bonds.

Our team has already signed up to run the American Odyssey Relay in 2013.  I am eagerly anticipating the reunion, and equally excited to meet new Team RWB community members.  Hope to see you there!

It’s Our Turn!