By Leeann Mason, Staff member of Two Little Hands Productions

We want to thank all those who supported “Team Coleman/Strong Enough” in the Salt Lake Half Marathon, in support of the Huntsman Cancer Institute. It was a life changing experience for me. It was one of the hardest and most rewarding things I have participated in. I was inspired by Rachel, Cathy and my best friend Ruth to take on the challenge and I am grateful I did. Last month we shared a brief recap on our blog after the event, but thought you would enjoy some of the thoughts from those that ran.

Several of the runners have already registered for next years Salt Lake Marathon and Half Marathon. Come run with us!

Rachel Coleman – host of Signing Time pushing 9 year old Lucy in a stroller (read more on Rachel’s blog):

The easiest 13.1 miles I have ever run! Within the first 2 miles I saw a man holding a sign that said “Go Leah! Go Lucy!” I didn’t know him, but it seemed too much of a coincidence. When he saw us he came running along waving the sign. That set the tone and was just the beginning of two hours of support from fans, race participants and complete strangers. It was almost overwhelming. I smiled at each mile marker, “Three more miles until your medal Lucy!”  “Two more miles…. One more mile!” and so on.

A number of the participants noticed our “Strong Enough” bibs and more often than not the comment was, “Oh! You are with that young boy. He passed us a long time ago!” We laughed, yes, Alex was up ahead and he finished a minute before us at 2:09:39

The last stretch to the finish line Leah broke into a full sprint! Aaron and I were shocked. We had to run full out to catch up to her. Leah set the pace and all four of us crossed the finish line at 2:10:35. Lucy ended up taking first place in her age category… oops! Not quite sure what to do about that.

Alex Brown – Signing Time co-star, age 11:

I can’t believe I finished the half marathon! It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be though, probably because of all the training. My dad and I were both sore. I think for me it was because of the distance and the fact that I am a lot smaller. For my dad, it was probably because he didn’t train. It was especially fun to run with a group of family and Signing Time friends. I was really proud of my cousin Leah. We made a great team!”

Leah Coleman – Signing Time co-star, age 13:

I still can’t believe that I ran a half-marathon!  When I think about running 13.1 miles it seem so far but, when I  was running the race the distance seemed really short!   I’m glad that I have a medal and my bib number to prove that I really did it, because sometimes I can hardly believe it myself.  I will definitely do it again, but for now I am taking a nice long break from running. 😀

Cathy Ybarra – Signing Time fan, friend and volunteer from Nevada:

My first half-marathon was 7 months ago at Disneyland, followed by Las Vegas Rock ‘n Roll, Arizona Rock n’ Roll, and finally the Salt Lake City Half Marathon. By far, the SLC race was the BEST race ever. There wasn’t just one thing that made it a great race; it was a combination of everything. The city is beautiful, the weather was perfect, and the overwhelming support by the crowd was just amazing. And I was running with some of my best friends. Being a part of “Team Coleman/Strong Enough” meant a lot to me. It stood for everything that inspires me in the world. We were running for fun, as well as showing other people that you should not put limitations on your life in general. The overwhelming support by the crowd was just amazing.

Suzanne Luggar – Signing Time fan, friend and volunteer from Michigan:

I am so glad that I had the opportunity to come out to SLC for the half marathon. It was WONDERFUL to be a part of Team Coleman, and to finally put faces with names! It was a beautiful day for a race, and I felt great the whole time! I loved running with Joe and Leanna Keathley (who I met through the weekly Signing Time Chat), and was happy to cross the finish line with them both. It was inspiring to meet up with everyone else at the Gateway and hear about their experiences during the race. I was so impressed to see Leah and Alex just hanging out, like they hadn’t just run 13.1 miles!!! So proud and happy for the WHOLE Coleman family, and so thankful to have been a part of it all!”

Leanna Keathley – Signing Time fan, friend and volunteer from Oklahoma:

I am in awe of the whole Coleman family and it was such a privilege to run with (or behind) Team Coleman! We had a blast getting to meet everyone that was a part of the ‘team’…runners and supporters! One of these days (not ‘some day’ LOL) I hope to be running with Cole like Rachel did with Lucy!”

Tanya Walker – Signing Time fan, friend, and volunteer from Utah:

Having the opportunity to run with “Team Coleman” was an amazing experience!  While I never actually saw any of my teammates that morning (besides LeeAnn), I loved wearing the “Team Coleman” bib on the back of my shirt.  During the course of my run, I had a few people pass me and yell “Go, Team Coleman”, to which I raised my arms, grinned and cheered them and myself on.  A year ago, I never could have imagined myself running a half marathon. Because of the friendship, love and support of the team, I was able to finish my first half marathon!  Way to go Team Coleman!  I can’t wait until next year!

Ronai Brumett – Signing Time fan, friend, and volunteer from Minnesota:
I had the great honor of being able to run with “Team Coleman” in my first ever half marathon. In fact a year ago I would have told you that I’m not a runner, I have bad knees. After being on the Signing Time Chat with Rachel and all the people that have started running, I decided I would give it a try. It was an experience I will never forget. I was able to run and have fun doing it. All of us that ran with “Team Coleman” had signs on our back “Team Coleman/Strong Enough” People would ask what it meant or give me a thumbs up as they passed me. I was inspired and able to inspire others along the way. Thank you Rachel for being “strong enough” and sharing your story, life and hope with the rest of us. PS My husband and I are already registered for next year’s SLC Half Marathon.

Lauri Buzianis – Signing Time fan and friend from Utah:

Team Coleman rocked the event! Thanks for the inspiring motivation to be “strong enough” to run such a fabulous race, in such a beautiful city with the best team ever!