Last night was the Annual Holiday Party for the Rush Running team. We had the party at the running store and had everyone bring a dish for potluck. The food was amazing and so diverse...the team can cook (and/or purchase food!) as well as they run! The night had two big highlights: Team Awards and the Dirty Santa gift exchange.
First up were the awards...Mike and Ali Rush collect entries and stories throughout the year and then determine the final winners. The categories are varied and solicit lots of laughs and cheers from the team. After the awards we had a great time with the gift exchange. Last year was the year of the snuggie for the exchange and this year it was the Shake Weight. We had three shake weights in the gift exchange. Some of the other hot items were the gift cards including $25 to Table Mesa, $40 to Maccadoodles, and $20 to the Rush store. I ended up with some new bike gear including a mini pump and a multi-function bike tool.
Here's my recap of the awards and I know I will miss a few categories so I'm sorry if I skip anyone.
Biggest injury - Jeff G. for his trail running ankle injury. It was a well deserved award since Jeff was in surgery getting his ankle fixed during the party and couldn't attend!
Worst Nipple Issue - Brian W. won the award for the Tulsa Marathon. He had no clue he was chafing and bleeding and his jersey literally looked like he had been shot.
Chatty Cathy - went to Matt B and Brian W and it is true they are quite the talkers!
AA Award - I think it went to Shannon M. and Dave W.
Shopaholics Award - this was shared by two couples the Mohlers and Leonhardts. They are all into running and triathlon so they need lots of gear and what is really cool is that their children are also into sports so that only increases their need for gear!
Most Official Unofficial Store Employee - Robert S. beat out some tough competition for this award but his punctuality threw him over the top according to Mike. It is so awesome that our running store is like a hangout and like Cheers they always know your name!
Biggest Blowup - went to Dave K for his 2008 Chicago Marathon performance. He won the award for the same race last year and Mike said he will continue to win the award for the foreseeable future. It is an awesome story of perseverance...Dave was on track for his goal time. He collapsed within 1 mile of the finish line and was taken to the medical tent for an hour to receive IV fluids. His dad walked with him back to the spot where he collapsed and he proceeded to finish the race. That takes a lot of heart to do and he has since gone on to amazing marathon times including a 5th place finish at the Tulsa Route 66 Marathon this year.
Most fashionable - this went to Mandy S. and Cathy R. who both are always dressed to the nines.
Best moment- a tie between The Slap and The Pass. Both moments happened during Ultra runs and are funny stories.
Most likely to get lost – poor Keith B. went out for an 8 mile run with the group on a route he wasn’t familiar with. He got separated from the group and missed a key turn. His little 8 mile run turned into a 17 miler in the heat of summer without water or nutrition. There were quite a few frantic phone calls and searches going on trying to find him.
Most consistent - Tony M. won for his consistent running and racing performance and for all the support that he provides to Mike and the store with helping time races to helping with the remodel when the store moved. This was a well deserved award for Tony!
Mr. and Ms. Rush 2010 – These awards went to top performers of the year. For the men, this went to Digger L. for his amazing 2:29 marathon at Twin Cities this year. Not your typical recreational runner! For the women, Carolyn A. won for always having impressive performances including lots of age group wins at a range of distances.
Most Improved – Matt M. won for the men and I won for the women. Matt joined the team this summer and he has shown huge improvements and now races at the front of the pack!
Biggest Change (not the right award title) – went to Tom L. who in a year has gone from wanting to do a marathon as part of his bucket list to signing up for and completing 100 mile ultramarathons. Tom has two already scheduled for 2011.
Congrats to the entire Rush Running team for an amazing 2010! I'm so honored to be a part of the team and so lucky to be able to call you all teammates and even more importantly friends! I can't wait to hit the roads with you again in 2011!