Sanden International employees Run the Rock
Date: Thursday, December 16, 2010
By Judy Truesdell
Members of Wylie-based Sanden International participated in the 41st Annual MetroPCS Dallas White Rock Marathon Dec. 4 and 5, running in either the Full Marathon (26.2 miles), Half Marathon, Corporate Relay or 5K Run/Walk events.
The legendary races took place in the White Rock Lake area, but they began and ended at Fair Park for the first time this year. According to the marathon’s website, 80 to 85 percent of the original course was still included with the addition of new sections including the Dallas Arts District. The starting line was on the north side of the Cotton Bowl, and the finish line was in the middle of Grand Avenue in front of the main entrance to the Hall of State Building.
Over 22,000 runners participated in this year’s event.
According to Avril Wilmot, Sanden occupational health nurse, the employees decided to commit to taking part in the strenuous event as a vote for good health and fitness, as well as taking on a challenge.
In all, 10 employees ran the Full Marathon, including Sanden President Mark Ulfig. Also running were Jim Berta, Daren Heiner, Kim Mang, Alshea Rockingham, Dean White, Kevin Araki, Kumar Coimbatore, Don McCroan and Ken Pistone.
Running the Half Marathon were Mark Takagishi, Shu Umeki, Houy Tech, Cynthia Sanchez and Kentoro Okawa.
The Corporate Relay, in which the full 26.2-mile course is run but divided between five teammates and completed in 6.5 hours, were Oscar Contreras, Jazmin Anguiano, Edu Rodriquez, Miguel Solis and Jimmy Ferron.
Sanden employees participating in the 5K Run/Walk Dec. 4 were Kitoshi Kobayashi, Hoden Farah, Karen Saunders, John Sokolowski, Jason Augustyn, Daniel Levine, Greg Gorski, Dorothy Guinn, Rene Martinez, Mark Kostreva, Shilpa Nagaraj, Dennis Lee, Jason Kipker and Kendra Bartels.
McCroan was a first-time participant and tackled the Full Marathon. He said that, although it was exhilarating, there were a couple of times in which he had his doubts. “There were probably two times that I had a thought that I had made a mistake in running in the White Rock Marathon,” he said. “The first time was at 6 a.m. when I pulled into the parking lot and got out of my truck; it was in the low 30s, and the wind was blowing. ‘What am I doing? This is crazy, but I am here, I’ve got to try,’ [I thought].
“The second was when I was running on the east side of White Rock Lake heading south and you look over to your right and you and see downtown Dallas, and it looks so far away, but that is where the finish line is. ‘What am I doing? This is crazy.’ [Then I thought] ‘Eighteen miles down; if I don’t finish I still have to walk to my truck. Got to go.’ ”
Tech, who ran the Half Marathon, said he had participated in the Susan G. Komen 5K Event before; he had more of an idea what to expect in the White Rock event and found it “exciting and fun.”
“This was my first Half Marathon. Unlike the 5K, I knew that I had to prepare myself with some training to get through the course,” Tech said.
He said he’ll come back for more next year. “It was an enjoyable event, and I’m excited to see how I’ll do next year compared to this year’s event.”
An example was set for the employees by their leader, Ulfig. “Both days of events at the Dallas White Rock Marathon were very special for me and the members of the Sanden team that took part in the races,” he said. “I am very proud of everyone who participated, but it was very special to witness the real excitement and joy of the first-time competitors as they crossed the finish line. There were several people who started training for this weekend who had real doubts that they could run a marathon or half marathon. They realize now that they can exceed their expectations through personal commitment and working hard to reach a goal.
“As Bill Bowerman, Nike’s founder so aptly stated, ‘The real purpose of running isn’t to win the race; it is to test the limits of the human heart.’
“Indeed, the Sanden runners showed heart as they all persevered to achieve their goal and reach the finish line.”
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