In the Company of SparkPeople Heroes

By , SparkPeople Blogger
By Bob Dawson

On Saturday, March 27, 2010 I had the opportunity to meet up with some fellow SparkPeople members in Pittsburgh who were participating in the Just a Short Run. This was a series of races comprised of six events all going on at the same time. There were four running events--5k, 12k, half marathon and a 30k and two walking events-- 5k and 12k.

Eleven SparkPeople members joined over 2000 other runners and walkers on a cold 23 degree morning all set to have a great day. We had all events covered and the members who finished earlier cheered alongside family members, until the last of us crossed the finish line. Each member finished their race with a renewed spirit.

Below is a recap of how we did as a individuals.

Recap of the Race Day:

PATRICLES43- set a PR in the 5k

LYNNANN43 -ran her first 5k, so a PR and achieved 100lb weight loss to date in the same day!

MIAMIA7-place 3rd in her age group 5k (my wife)

BILLALEX70 – ran his first 12k, so a PR

QUIDDITCHGRRL –ran her first 12k, so again a PR

BOBBYD31 –first 12k another PR

AMCG2002 - ran her first half marathon, so a new PR

JAN_FRANDSEN -half marathon

ROSENJ1965-30k(stopped on her way from NJ to KY, although we never did meet up)

CALIDREAMER76 -first 5k walk race

DJS-DEBBIE - first 5k walk race

PRETTYKITTY26 -first 5k walk race(DJS-DEBBIE'S daughter)

Cathy - 12k walk race (wife of Jan_Frandsen)

After the race, 19 of us went out to lunch at “On The Border” a Mexican restaurant about 30 minutes away. PATRICLES43 printed out the menu with all the calories and highlighted all the low calorie choices on the menu so we could make healthy choices. We spent the next two hours eating, talking and getting to know each other. Most of us only knew each other from the message boards, however some of the members had biked together and others had previously met at the Spark Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio last September.

As we talked, we learned why we were on SparkPeople and how our lives have changed. But what I did not know was I was in the presence of some true HEROES! Together we have lost nearly ½ ton and we have SparkPeople to thank for helping us all reach our goals.

BILLALEX70 over 270 lbs lost

DJS-DEBBIE over 140 lbs lost

CALIDREAMER76 over 110 lbs lost

QUIDDITCHGRRL over 100 lbs lost

LYNNANN43 100 lbs lost

AMCG2002 0ver 80 lbs lost

MIAMAI7 75 lbs lost

BOBBYD31 70 lbs lost

PATRICLES43 63 lbs lost

JAN_FRANDSEN over 20 lbs lost

PRETTYKITTY26 12 lbs lost

You my friends, are a true INSPIRATION ! Thank you for coming to our little race, sharing your friendship, your stories and being part of Anne’s and my life. A special thanks goes out to JOPAPGH who actually started setting this up but was unable to attend because he took a trip to Boston with his son. Also thanks goes out to Bill for getting the Ohio crew here. Thanks guys!

Bob hails from western Pennsylvania and has been a member of SparkPeople for over 2 years. In that time he has lost 70 pounds. He has been married 25 years to his lovely wife, Anne, who is also a SparkPeople member and has lost 75 pounds herself. The Dawsons own their own cleaning business and will be featured in an upcoming edition of Woman's Day Magazine.

Do reading stories like this inspire you to want to meet up with other SparkPeople members? How far would you be willing to travel to participate in an event such as this one?

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BONNIE1552 11/13/2019
Would be fun to meet others. Report
KAREN_EDMONDS 10/15/2019
How fun this must have been! Report
well done! Report
Love this story. Report
Totally inspiring! Report
Excellent work! This is inspiring. I lost a considerable amount of weight, but am not yet comfortable sharing the amount. One day... I will. Cheers! Report
This story rocks! I love how they all came together. Even though I am nervous about meeting people I think it would be great to meet up with other sparkers. The convention sounds cool. I think I would start out with those closet to me (several in my county and state) and work my way out from there. Report
Great job, everyone! I am so proud to call so many people in this group my SparkFriends! Awesome! Report
Yes these stories make me think I can do this! Report
You guys are my Heroes, too! Stories like yours help me keep going! Report
Congratulation to all of you, and thank you for you blog, is a good example of what a team can do. Report
ERNURSERN guys are my HEROES...someday I will be able to do the same thing!! Tonight I jogged for 3/4 of a mile...I am excited...that is the best I have ever done!! I am going to be doing this someday!! Report
keep up the good work! Report
So awesome and motivating to read. I love this kind of interaction. Congradulations to you all. Report
Great inspiration! I'd LOVE to meet up with other Sparkers! Any conventions coming to the East coast? I have friends in many places that I'd love to meet. Report
I LOVE LOVE LOVE meeting other SparkFriends!! I also know that I will be meeting many, many more in the near future!! Report
Good article. I have made so many friends on Sparks. I'd love to meet them all. I don't know if I would ever get to a convention....maybe someday. I'd have to travel down from northern Ontario, Canada. Report
Love, love, love it. An awesome story of achievements and goals met.
Congratulations to all of you.

Such inspiration. Report
great job my friends!!!!!!!

sharon Report
Congratulations and great job! Pittsburgh isn't too far from me. I live in Morgantown. Report
I'd love to meet with SparkPeople at DISNEY WORLD. Report
Wow! All of you have done a great job with the weight loss and the races! I'm only about 40 minutes from Pittsburgh; wish I would have known about this. Report
What an inspiration you all are!!!!! Keep up the good work. Report
you all are truely heros, congratulations on all of your accomplishments !! Report
Congrats I would love to meet up with some sparkpeople and do some adventures with you. Report
Congratulations to you all! Great Blog. Report
I would love to meet my sp friends someday. What an inspiring story! Report
I think it would be exciting to meet up with other members. There aren't so many around where I live but I would drive to meet others if the event were fun and not too competitive. Congratulations to all the participants and may the good feelings and mootivation you shared be returned 10-fold. Report
Congratulations! Report
If you had said dry cleaning business I would of said sure wish they were here...the ones here tell you the price and then when you pick it up it isn't the price they said when you left it and feel someone here I would trust.. Report
I have met so many wonderful people within Sparks. They are supportive and encouraging. I would absolutely love to meet them and others. Report
What a wonderful inspiring blog and the great SP heroes! WOW! Report

An excellent half marathon in the Fall in the Pittsburgh area is the Montour Trail Half Marathon on September 11. It starts with a long downhill then goes out and back on a rails-to-trail path where it ends so you don't have to go back up the hill. Race proceeds benefit trail maintenance. Report
Awesome inspiration - thank you for sharing! Report
I have attended RLG to met others i game with, so I think meeting fellow sparkers would be awesome. In my case i would go as far as i could drive in a day, in otherwords any where in ohio would be great! Report
That is so wonderful that you were all able to meet at this event, participate and then socialize afterwards! Sparkpeople has been a good influence on all your lives! Report
That is so wonderful that you were all able to meet at this event, participate and then socialize afterwards! Sparkpeople has been a good influence on all your lives! Report
That is so wonderful that you were all able to meet at this event, participate and then socialize afterwards! Sparkpeople has been a good influence on all your lives! Report
I'd love to meet local Sparkpeople.
However because of obligations at home, would not be able to travel far.
It will help when I finally "Spark" the wife. :) Report
I think that was amazing! I would love to get together with some fellow sparkers and embark on a challenge or event. We support each other so much throughout our journeys, so why not reach a milestone with them as well and actually be able to see that joy on their faces and talk about it, instead of just using spark. Spread the spark! Report
I've had the pleasure of meeting some of these folks and let me tell you- they are SUCH and inspiration! It was a joy to meet them, share stories and success! Report
Great job to everyone for participating in the races AND for all the weight loss success. It's amazing to learn about other people and what they have accomplished. You truly are all heroes!!! Report
wonderful, wonderful blog!!!!! Report
Yes i would like to meet up with some sparkpeople,
but i would not travel very far from culpeper, orange fredericksburg
or charlottesville VA Report
Awesome blog Bob! Thanks for sharing the day with us. I LOVE meeting other Spark People! Report
yes I really enjoy the blog, I would like some day to meet some of my sparks friends. Report
Congratulations!!!! Way to Go! Report
LOVED this article thanks Bob for writing it! A Big CONGRATS to all of you!
Such inspiration! I know I can do this because of wonderful people like all of you!

Hugs Debbie Report
fantastic congratulations to all Report
Pittsburgh is a mighty town with heart, and you guys just proved it! CONGRATULATIONS!!! Report