SparkPeople Members Celebrate Together At The Finish Line

By , SparkPeople Blogger
SparkPeople members are in the news once again! Seven members (who met on our site) recently completed various distances of the Surf City Marathon in Huntington Beach, California. When their story was featured on CNN.com, we asked if they wanted to share more details about the experience. They were more than happy to talk about what it meant to meet their online buddies in-person for the first time!

Jen (JENNIFER124) is a 43-year old mother of four and has lost 50 pounds on SparkPeople over the past two years. Jen ran the half-marathon and set a personal record of 2:38:41.

Pamela (PAMTHEDREAMER) is 47 years old and has lost 17 pounds on SparkPeople over the past two years. Pamela walked the 5K and said her goal was to enjoy the beautiful day and meet her "Spark buds".

Becky (BSTAKINGACTION) is 48 years old and has lost 25 pounds on SparkPeople (in addition to losing over 25 pounds before joining the site.) She ran the half-marathon and set a personal record by over one minute.

Beverly (SORGIN) is 44 years old and has lost 30 pounds on SparkPeople over the past two years. Beverly was happy to leave snowy Wisconsin to join her friends to run the half-marathon in sunny California!

Tammy (MARATHONMOM26.2) is a 49-year old mother of two. Tammy has lost 30 pounds on SparkPeople over the past year and ran the half-marathon in Huntington Beach.

Becki (BECCACOATS) is 49 years old and has lost 40 pounds on SparkPeople over the past two years. Becki walked the 5K and said she couldn’t wait to see the others and cheer them through the finish line.

Eve (EVETROY) is 41 years old and has lost 40 pounds on SparkPeople. Eve ran the 5K and said her goal was to spend time with friends doing something healthy.

Jen: Did the CNN story leave out any details about the experience that you wanted to share?

Tammy: Running a race together was just a means to bring us together. It started with a few of us wanting to do a marathon together, but the excitement spread like quick-fire and even the non-runners among us wanted to be part of the trip! So the race, to some extent, was ancillary. When we met it was like seeing any close friend who I hadn't seen in awhile - we just fell right into step together and picked up where we had left off (in this case, the previous day on SP!). There was no awkwardness, no temerity, no "testing the waters" -- in my heart I already called these women friends so there was no need to act like acquaintances.

Becky: This trip to CA was a testament to the bond we have developed on SP. Many of us were willing to travel from ACROSS the country. Not easy for working women, some with young kids, and in the midst of these tough economic times.

Eve: These women are real and have been so inspiring every step of this journey. I am blessed to have met them and am grateful for what I learn from them every day. I've learned some lessons about being healthy and some lessons about just being a good mom, good person and a good friend.

Jen: What was it like to meet your online friends in person?

Jen: AMAZING!!! We had planned this for almost one year. We have been together online for about 2 years. We all agreed that we "knew" each other without ever having met. No real surprises!

Becky: Admittedly, a little intimidating, but so exciting. I was worried that within 24 hours I would drive them crazy and they'd be like, "She is SO not what she was like on the Message Board!" But, as Jen said to me during one of our conversations, we all represented ourselves very honestly online, so it really didn't feel like we were meeting for the first time. Oh! And seeing each other in 3D was a little weird.

Beverly: Meeting online friends is something I would have never done two years ago. I joined the site to be anonymous in my journey and now I find myself telling people about the site. Meeting these women face-to-face was a supreme joy.

Pamela: It was a wonderful experience for all of us Spark friends who had been chatting with each other online; sharing our lives with one another to finally meet in person. This was like modern day pen pals meeting.

Jen: Anything else you'd like to add?

Becki: With the help of my Heavenly father, husband, family and Sparkfriends I was able to continue my journey to become the healthy mom, wife, grandma and friend. This Grandma is getting on the floor and playing with her grandchildren. I am now in control of my life. Even through all of what life is dealing me now, I am still holding onto the Spark with my SparkPeople friends.

Tammy: I have been lucky enough to meet many Spark Friends face-to-face, including at the Convention in SD last May. I have run races in San Francisco, Disneyland, Disneyworld (FL), Long Beach and Phoenix, AZ with other Sparkers and I have never been disappointed by our meetings. The only difference with this group is that we have invested ourselves into our friendships - we have gone beyond casual and made the effort to really know each other, and it has enriched my life beyond measure!

Becky: Only that we all may become an urban legend.....that group of weird 90-something women who continue to stalk Sparkpeople.com....and run races!


Congratulations, ladies! Your story is inspiring!

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Comments

CHERYLHURT 12/19/2018
Fabulous! Report
Wow! Love it! Report
RAPUNZEL53
Way to go! Report
Way to go!! Report
way to go as team woo hoo Report
MARGARITTM
This is my favorite blog !!! Report
You've all done so incredibly well...those who stay together..lose together!! Report
wow... thanks for telling us all about it - great motivation! I plan to run a marathon next year for help for heroes and cancer research and this has really inspired me to train harder! All the best and keep sharing! :) Report
You ladies are inspiring. I hope in time I can say some of the same things. That my Spark friends and I have supported each other in our journey's and have truly become friends and have shared in success to healthier lives. Report
Great job! Thanks for the motivating article. Report
I love these motivational stories. Great job! Report
This is Awesome!!!! So happy everyone was able to come together. I tried to sign-up too late...sold out, but next year I will be there. Great Job and keep up the great work ladies!! Report
Congratulations ladies!! What an awesome thing that you became friends here then got to meet in person and participate in this event together!! I have wanted to do this exact same thing! Keep up the good work everyone and continued success!!! Report
What a great thing to be able to do! Report
This is soooo awesome. Congrats ladies! Report
DIOSBORNE
Sounds like you all had lots of fun as well. Way to go! Report
What a great story! It's wonderful to meet people who are all on the same page, and who you can feel really at ease with! Report
ERICASUEHONEY
Good job.you girls are good inspiring people am not going to give up I hope to make friends u did. Report
Whoo hoo! That's awesome. =) Report
That is so great to see what we are all acheiving! But, the really great thing that struck me about this is: All of them are over 40! Since, I'm 46 & want to pursue a career in fitness & diet, but people keep saying that I'm too old! This just goes to show that you can do anything at any age! Report
This is FANTASTIC.... I really think reporting out these meetups and the success will help many of us at SP..

Congratulations on your successes in weight loss, physical activity and friendship... dreams do come true! Report
Great story!! I've already met two individuals on SparkPeople during my journey. Report
Thank you all so very much...your story on CNN introduced me to Sparkpeople, which I had never heard of before. In the last two weeks I've gained so much in confidence that "I can DO this" and positive encouragement that I never believed I could hear from all these random people. You've given me a gift by sharing your story. Thank you!! Report
Thanks ladies !!! You have set an example for us all. You all inspire and motivate us to go on!!! Here we can learn healthy way of living and have lots of friends. I love sparkpeople!!!! Report
ANNAOUGHTON
thanks for being an inspiration Report
Awesome! What a great story. I am running my first 1/2 marathon in May. It would be so great to run it with other sp members. Congrats to them fir their accomplishments!!! Report
Way to go ladies! Great story! Report
Yay Girls! Yay Becki!! I'm so proud of you!!!
♥ ♥ ♥ Report
You Go Girls! Hope I find this kind of community Report
This was awesome to read! What a team!!! Congratulation!!! Report
This was a wonderful example to us all. Report
WCATAP
Great story Report
Great read! Report
Now that certainly took allot of teamwork to organize. Congratulations to all of you ~ must have really been exciting to meet each other and to participate in an event as well. Report
SHELLY8AND8
I think it is great to meet the people you have been talking to all this time and put a name to a face!! Report
JAMISCHALK1
Awesome job ladies!!!! I actually met my husband after communicating online but I remember how nerve racking it was at first so I can understand your feeling about meeting each other. Report
This story is testament to all Sparkers. The friendships developed here are real and important. I congratulate you ladies on a fine job and joyful experience. Report
B12UNITED
This is such an inspiring story, how wonderful that you were able to meet in person and not have any surprises! Report
SUNSET09
Team work and support always prevails! Good going! Report
DEEJACKSON
What team did you all meet on? Report
You allshould be Proud of finishing the race. Glad you all have become good friends. Congratulations! Report
GREAT JOB LADIES!! And wonderful seeing you all represent an event here in my sunny state of Cali! Awesome that you all met up... Report
That is so awesome that u did get to do something together and meet up for the real time event. it is inspiring.! Report
WAY TO GO YOU ALL DID A GREAT JOB Report
This is so great that you all got together and did this as a TEAM.....!! GREAT JOB..!! Report
Thanks for sharing your journey and friendship. It is amazing how you feel like you know each other before actually meeting them by the online communication. Job well done! Report