It’s Fall, so it must be Reunion Season. I’m happy to share that I celebrated my 30th William Penn High School (Philadelphia) Reunion last Saturday, October 7, 2017, 8 p.m. – 12 a.m. at The Oaks Ballroom in Glenolden, PA.
As a proud 1987 graduate of William Penn High School (Communications Magnet), I was excited to plan and organize my Reunion Weekend for the 4th time. As one of the organizers of the 10th, 20th and 25th Reunion, I’m proud and happy that we had another successful reunion weekend.
This Reunion was special for several reasons… One, I’m blessed to celebrate my 30th Reunion. — Blessed because we have four classmates that are no longer with us. Our deceased classmates were recognized with a moment of silence and we displayed their in memory photos.
Also, we received positive feedback from our classmates that attended. Many of our classmates expressed their gratitude for us organizing the reunion.
Another reason was two of our classmates didn’t think they would make it due to recent surgeries. Both attended and were in good spirits and both of them were happy about our graduation photo souvenir tag. One classmate lost her yearbook due to a house fire years ago so she didn’t have a cap and gown photo and the other classmate never had a chance to see his graduation photo. Both stories touched me in a special way.
Shoutout to the Overbrook High School, Class of 1987 for posting their Class Reunion photos recently via Facebook. Their reunion was Saturday, September 30, 2017. After reviewing their photos, I was even more excited about my reunion and we even borrowed a few ideas.
Special Thanks to the William Penn Class of 1987 Reunion Committee members for taking on this project and reaching out and encouraging our fellow classmates to attend our reunion weekend celebration.
45 graduates and guests attended the reunion for a night of fun and fond memories along with my high school track coach, Mr. Tim Hickey who taught math at William Penn as well and my husband, Wayne E. Roberts, Class of 1985.
Another cool thing about our reunion weekend is that our graduates came as far as Washington State, Ohio and North Carolina to attend our celebration.
In addition to our Reunion Celebration, several classmates met up for a Meet and Greet on Friday night. Our first stop was Warmdaddy’s for Happy Hour then Philly’s Platinum Grille for dinner and dancing. We ended our weekend at Buffalo Wild Wings while we watched the Eagles win at home against the Arizona Cardinals.
A few thoughts I wanted to share if you are debating or not sure if you want to attend your high school reunion. I say you only live once. Life is short. So attend your reunion and enjoy. Don’t worry about the following thoughts that often come up. Thoughts like … I didn’t have many friends in high school. I’m not successful. I’m not as youthful as I used to be. Whatever negative thoughts you may come up with please replace them with positive thoughts like… I will attend and have a fun evening with my classmates. 🙂
We were pleased to see our classmates that attended their first reunion celebration and they vowed to join us again for our next celebration.
As I think about our reunion weekend, another reason why this reunion was so special is it’s our first time together since our school was demolished. Our school is no longer there and ironically it’s now Temple University’s track. Ironic because William Penn High School is known for track and field, thanks to Coach Tim Hickey and our AWESOME women’s teams. During my 4 years, 1984 – 1987, I’m excited to share that my cross country, indoor and outdoor teams won each year. (Another blog post to come…)
I’ve attended each class reunion. Even if I wasn’t an organizer, I could not imagine not attending, not because I was Ms. Popular, but because I believe in embracing life and high school is a special part of me. High School is a part of you too!
As for Reunion Season, I heard yesterday that Central High School will be celebrating their 30th Reunion on Saturday, October 28. So if you are a graduate of Central, enjoy and tell me about your evening.
Future reunions?? I would love to hear from you. If you attended your reunion recently, please share your positive memories and photos. 😉
After four successful years of the Black Girls RUN! National Race and Conference weekend, Black Girls RUN! will host the 2017 Sweat With Your Sole Conference and Race in Philadelphia, September 29-30, 2017.
“We are excited to bring our signature race and conference to Philadelphia this year,” said Toni Carey, co-founder of Black Girls RUN!. “We have made this year’s conference two days, but still jam-packed with fun workshops, dynamic speakers, and a great race route. Philadelphia is a great, neutral location to take a drive or fly in for the conference on Friday and you can be back home by Saturday evening.”
The weekend will kick off with a one-day conference starting at Noon on Friday, September 29. The conference will include interactive workshops with nationally recognized trainers and fitness instructors and speakers, and a vast amount of knowledge-sharing on running, health and nutrition.
On Saturday, September 30 the weekend continues with a 5K and 10K run/walk along the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Following the race, the weekend will conclude with an Awards Brunch with award-winning writer and speaker, Luvvie Ajayi. Black Girls Run! will recognize four national Black Girls RUN! Ambassadors and Run Coordinators during the brunch as well.
“Having Luvvie Ajayi as our keynote this year is spectacular,” comments Ashley Hicks, co-founder of Black Girls RUN. “Her wittiness, intelligence, and beauty is the epitome of what we do on the pavement each day… motivating each other through humor, humility, honesty and sometimes saying the things we do not want to hear. She will be a special touch to this year’s conference.”
The Sweat with Your Sole conference is open to Black Girls RUN! members and women who are interested in attending. Men and women are invited to attend the brunch and participate in the road race.
In previous years, Sweat With Your Sole has been hosted in Atlanta and Charlotte, bringing more than 3,500 men and women to the area.
For all “Sweat With Your Sole” conference and race updates, visit www.sweatwithyoursole.com. You can also follow Black Girls RUN! on Twitter at @BlackGirlsRUN, and Instagram @officialblackgirlsrun, or use the hashtag #SWYS17.
About Black Girls RUN!
Black Girls RUN! is a national running group launched in 2009 by Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks. The organization has grown to include more than 70 running groups across the nation with more than 225,000 members. The group was created to combat the obesity epidemic among women in the African- American community and dispel the myth that black women do not run. The groups include beginner and experienced runners and provide a support system to help members reach their fitness goals. Black Girls RUN! provides a community and inspires all women to run. For more information about Black Girls RUN!, visit www.BlackGirlsRUN.com.
Hey fellow runners and friends,
Ready or not the holidays are here. ~ I hope you had a Wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend! Before you know it, we will be celebrating Christmas, with December right around the corner.
Stepping back a bit to last weekend… The Philadelphia Marathon was another memorable weekend for me over 20,000 other runners and spectators.
The highlight of my Philadelphia Marathon weekend was working and volunteering at the 2016 Philadelphia Marathon Health & Fitness Expo. On Friday and Saturday, I worked in the Seminar Area, introducing and presenting awesome speakers and presenters like marathoner and author, Bill Rodgers, Deneen R. Young, YoungLife Coach~Beyond Fit and Mark Sullivan, coach with irunicoach.com and LEGacy runner with the Philadelphia Marathon. And I was the announcer on Saturday encouraging runners to attend the Seminar Area.
On Saturday, I was blessed with the opportunity to serve as a Half Marathon Pacer with Philadelphia Runner on Saturday, November 20, 2016. I was joined by fellow Pacers, Leslie and Molly as we lead runners to a 2:15 finish on the new half marathon course. As a Pacer for half marathoners, the experience is truly rewarding, while the race was challenging, due to the back to back hills the downhill and the flat course after mile 10 was welcomed after we tackled the tough second hill that felt more like two hills.
I was happy to serve as a Pacer this year to help runners accomplish their race goals, after running the 8K in 2010, the half in 2011, the marathon in 2012 and the half again in 2013. Last year and the year before were my first year not running the race (2014 and 2015), since I was a part of the Marathon Internal team and worked behind the scenes on race day. This year I just worked onsite at the Expo.
Also, this year was different, because we ran on a new course. As I mentioned above the course was a challenge, especially if you don’t think of yourself as a hill runner or if you didn’t train on hills. Another major thing was if you were familiar with the previous course, it had less hills and it you had the opportunity to run on Chestnut Street in your own personal parade among Philly fans and friends. At least it feels like a parade when you are running through the Philly streets. Fond memories from my previous half and full marathon.;-)
As I wrap up my thoughts about the half marathon, a word that comes to mind is perspective. Some people loved the new half marathon course, some people preferred the previous course. The great thing about running and life, it’s all about what you choose to focus on. Some people chose to focus on the beautiful fall day. We had sunshine and warm weather, despite it being a little chilly at the start, it felt more like a spring day after the race got underway.
The marathoners on the other hand had a cold windy day. Despite the colder temperature it was actually a better day temperature wise for the marathon so much so that the men’s winner, Kimutai Cheruiyot set a course record of 2:15:53 and the women’s winner, Taylor Ward finished with a time of 2:36:23. Also, several of my friends that ran the marathon set personal records. ~ Great Job marathoners!! ~ I am looking forward to 2017 already and marking Philly as my 4th marathon.
Speaking of course changes, Sullivan had the opportunity to run the half marathon course earlier this year and he ran the marathon course changes and he approves the changes. He goes on to share th…
Hey Philly Running Community, Happy Race Week!
I had the pleasure of discussing the Philadelphia Marathon and the course changes for both the Philadelphia Half Marathon and the Full Marathon with the Philadelphia Marathon course expert himself, Mark Sullivan, owner of irunicoach.com.
Sullivan has run every Philadelphia Marathon race, making him one of the two original Philadelphia Marathon LEGacy Runners. This year will mark Sullivan’s 23rd Philadelphia Marathon and his 172nd marathon.
“It’s always fun to come back to Philly. I look forward to it,” said Sullivan. “Philly has maintained a hometown feel, a personal touch, thanks to the commitment of local people that work and volunteer with the race, added Sullivan.
Speaking of course changes, Sullivan had the opportunity to run the half marathon course earlier this year and he ran the marathon course changes and he approves the changes. He goes on to share that the half marathon is faster than it looks on paper, so be ready to have good race. The full marathon has minor course changes.
The major change this year is the Half Marathon is now on Saturday, in previous years it was on Sunday along with the Full Marathon. This year it will be a clean course with no marathoners. The focus of the race organizers will be totally on the half marathoners, so you don’t have to compete for space.
In the early stages of the race, you will be running in the city for the first 3.5 miles and will have the opportunity to pass historic landmarks along the course. You will actually be running the same 1.5 miles as the marathoners on Sunday. The first part of the course is flat with fewer ups and downs than the previous course. And you get a nice taste of the downtown area.
For those of you concerned about hills, you have the same amount of hills as last year’s course, but the hills on this course are more challenging than the previous course.
Other points to mention about the new half marathon course include: (See the course map below..)
Once you finish mile 9, it’s flat and downhill, allowing for faster times. “It’s a net gain with more downhill at the end of the race,” said Sullivan. Of course if you are familiar with the Art Museum area, you know that there is a slight incline as you come around to the finish. This is the time to push to the top and then you are done.
Again the marathon changes are very minor. The changes at a glance are: (See the course map below..)
Spectators and Fans
This course is family friendly. Sullivan’s advice includes:
Special note for Half and Full Marathoners: At the start of the race, please throw your clothes to the left, so that it will be away from the course, making it easier for the volunteers to clear the course.
Would you like to hear more about the course, hear tips on running the course? Do you have questions? Is this your first marathon? Join Sullivan this Friday and Saturday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and hear for yourself.
Sullivan will present a half marathon and marathon course overview seminar this Friday, November 18, 5 – 5:45 p.m. and a marathon course overview on Saturday, November 19, 3:15 – 4:00 p.m. at the 2016 Philadelphia Marathon Health & Fitness Expo. This is a popular session and a must attend session, so please arrive early for the best seating.
Mark Sullivan presenting the Marathon Course Overview to a standing room only crowd of Marathoners.
Mark Sullivan presenting the Marathon Course Overview to new and experienced Marathoners.
Mark Sullivan and I last year at the Philadelphia Marathon Reception for Runners and Special Guests
In addition to Sullivan speaking about the course, I will be there with our other speakers and presenters from 2 – 6:45 p.m. on Friday and 11:15 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday.
The Philadelphia Marathon weekend, organized by the Office of the City Representative and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, welcomes nearly 30,000 runners, 60,000 spectators, and 3,000 volunteers each year. Race Weekend 2016 features the Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday, November 20; the Half Marathon, Rothman Institute 8K and Kids Fun Run on Saturday, November 19; and a free two-day Health & Fitness Expo on Friday, November 18 and Saturday, November 19. Race participants pass many of Philadelphia’s famous attractions on the swift and scenic USATF-certified course, which is a Boston qualifier.
Dawn Angelique Roberts is a USATF Certified Running Coach training athletes in Philadelphia and around the country. Dawn is co-founder of Elite Access Running, LLC, a full service running company that specializes in coaching services, pace team coordination, race management, public relations, social media and runcations for athletes and organizations. Dawn serves as volunteer endurance coach for the American Cancer Society, DetermiNation program in Philadelphia.
Hey Family and Friends!
I completed my 3rd marathon, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon last Sunday, October 9, 2016 and set a personal record of 4 hours and 20 minutes. My goal was to beat my first marathon time of 4 hours and 26 minutes (My previous PR was from the Philadelphia Marathon in 2012.) Whoo Hoo!! Goal accomplished!!
In addition to accomplishing my time goal, I’m pleased to share that I had a GREAT race.
Thank God my marathon experience was much better this year in Chicago, than Philly (2012) and New York (2015). ~ I did much better with my training and fueling which makes a big difference in a marathon. My last two marathons I had to walk a few times to complete 26.2, this time around, I completed the marathon with no walking.
*I must say that Chicago wasn’t on my radar, but my pace/business partner, Kendra Todd Dixon, Elite Access Running, LLC signed up for the Chicago Marathon lottery and I decided to follow her lead. I’m glad that I did!! 🙂
My question to those of you that ran Chicago is, who said the Chicago Marathon is flat? LOL! The course was not flat! I enjoyed the course and I was cool with it because I’m always prepared for inclines and I knew about the hill at the finish after attending the Course Review session at the Expo. 😉
I was happy throughout the race, despite my legs being tight most of the race and a weird foot pain in the later miles. My hydration and fueling the night before the race and race morning made a difference during this marathon. I alternated between water and Gatorade at each water stop and it helped!! Proud to say that I did not hit the “Wall.” Thanks to my long miles during training, the perfect weather, the Chicago marathon race organizers and the excellent crowd support, my only job was to keep a consistent pace, push through the pain and finish the race and I did just that without stopping. ~ During the course, one of my favorite signs was… “Pain is Temporary, Glory is Forever,” this statement is so true!
Thinking about my race experience overall, the Chicago Marathon was AWESOME! Very organized from the Expo to Race Day.
Shout out to my Soror and fellow marathoner, Oui Brown for her hospitality. Thanks to Oui, I had the best and the closest lodging that I’ve ever had for a race. She made me feel right at home!! I walked out her front door and literally walked 5 minutes to the race location. I was so happy!!
My race weekend started early Friday morning. I took the first flight out from Philly to Chicago O’Hare. Upon arrival, I was able to connect with my good friend and fellow marathoner, Melanie Eversley at the airport.
Melanie and I took the train together. My ride was a little longer, but well worth it based on what I shared above about the close proximity to the race. Also, the train is great because you don’t have to sit in traffic.
If you are staying in the downtown area, near the starting line, which I highly recommend, take the train, due to Chicago traffic and it’s a good way to save money, so that you have more to spend on other things at the expo and of course pre and post race food. 🙂
Speaking of food ~ I had lunch at Meli Cafe my first day in Chicago and breakfast there my last day in Chicago.
Friday night fun, Thanks to Oui, we hung out with the Black Chicago Runners. What an AWESOME Fun Group. I felt at home from the start!!
Saturday night, I attended the National Black Marathoners gathering at Bar Louie’s. It was a very nice gathering. A great opportunity to catch up with friends and sorority sisters that you see on Facebook throughout the year. ~ Always Great seeing my namesake Dawn Davis Calhoun. 😉
More about the race, running a marathon is no small accomplishment, It’s tough! Running a marathon takes mental and physical determination. ~ The marathon teaches you to keep going despite the obstacles before you. “Life is a Marathon!”
Some of my thoughts during the marathon ranged from I Got This! Positive Thoughts… Keep smiling… And this is a nice tour of Chicago! Dig deep! At mile 13.1, I was like YES! I’m half way there. ~ Nice Half time! ~ Mile 20, I was at 3 hours and thought, yes.. sub 4, let’s do this! ~ I thought about everyone back home and the virtual cheers. ~ It was Cool seeing the board between mile 16 and 17 with all the cheers. The board came up so quick, I noticed Bart Yasso’s name a couple of times. ~ After mile 20 is when the race really begins, I thought about my Aunt Peggy back in Philly on life support and thought if Aunt Peggy can fight for her life, I can certainly fight past tight legs. ~ Push, push, let’s finish this race!
No promises for Marathon #4, but I am looking forward to pacing the Philadelphia Half Marathon next month with the Philadelphia Runner Pace Team and I am looking forward to racing my next Half Marathon after coming through at 2:07 with 13.1 miles to go. ~ I am looking forward to beating my 1:45 Half Marathon PR this Fall/Spring 2017 and becoming a stronger runner.
My Pre Race & Race Day Tips/Reminders include:
Back to my Chicago Fun!! Post race dinner was Sunday night at Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria with Erica and Adi, my BGR! Delaware Family. It was Great having deep dish pizza and pasta some of the things that I don’t eat much of during training. (I carb load after the race. LOL!)
Monday morning, I went out for a recovery walk/run and met up with BGR! Delaware Ambassador Damali Thomas for my favorite meal, breakfast. Also, Fleet Feet Chicago was engraving medals for FREE, so I was able to get my name and finish time on the back of my medal.
Back home, I found out that my race day inspiration, Aunt Peggy passed away. Wow! She gave a good fight and she is no more pain.
Lessons learned from Aunt Peggy include… Her love of family and to Live Life to the Fullest. She did just that!! She loved everyone and everyone loved her. Aunt Peggy enjoyed life and I plan to continue to enjoy my life of wellness and fitness, as a runner. And I plan to continue to love everyone as God loves us.
My post race recovery on Tuesday included a relaxing massage at Alternative Therapy Massage and lunch with Kendra.
Next up… I plan to get a well deserved pedicure this Friday as I continue to enjoy my days off from running.
If you are considering your first or your next marathon, I highly recommend the Chicago Marathon. Next year the Chicago Marathon is celebrating their 40th Anniversary, so I’m sure that the race will be even better than this year. In addition to Chicago, I enjoyed the New York Marathon last year as well as my hometown favorite, the Philadelphia Marathon.
Mind over Matter, my thoughts Saturday morning after I ran 4 miles on the treadmill. As a marathoner and to some of you reading this 4 miles doesn’t sound major. Exactly!! Normally I reserve Saturday for my long run (10 miles or more), but with the temperature at 19 degrees and with the wind chills it was actually more like 4 degrees, per the weather reports. I decided to take my run indoors even though, I’m used to running in the cold. ~ I completed four miles indoors and I felt great. 🙂
After my 4 Mile Treadmill Run!!
Also, I must share that normally when I run on the treadmill, it’s more like a ten minute warm up or speed workout followed by an upper body workout or a leg workout and then back on for another ten minutes then another round of strength training and then if…
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