RunAPalooza – a Team Marathon (and Honoring a Dear Friend)

One of the best parts of being an entrepreneur is you get to meet amazing people. In 2014, I had the opportunity to meet a truly special human – Manolo Teijelo. Manolo was a financial advisor I met at a Chamber of Commerce meeting where I was giving a talk. It turns out he had also come to one of my seminars on Digital Marketing and Social Media for Small Business owners the month before. So, other than boring him with very similar information twice in a month, we started talking about life… kids… and running. We found out we were both avid runners and really should have crossed paths many times before, but surprisingly never had.

A few months later, Manolo (with an awful lot going on in his life) asked me if I’d like to join him on his RunAPalooza team. I had heard of this event (and somehow I even had a shirt!) but I had never run it. It seems like a great run and I had a massive affinity for Asbury Park, so it was easy for me to say yes. What’s doubly awesome about this event is that they raise money for Special Olympics of NJ – a charity that Andrea and I have contributed to for well over 25 years.

Many of you know that I’ve run in many road races and have recently taken up triathlon’s, and will be doing my 3rd triathlon (and second with my daughter Naomi) this July. However, I’ve never (yet) run a full marathon, nor have I tried an Ironman. It seems fitting that my first marathon be performed as part of a team – since in business, it’s never your own individual efforts that raise you to the top, but the efforts of you and your teammates. Working together, teams can do so much more than an individual working alone.

So, my first marathon will be a team effort; I believe I’m expected to run approximately 6 miles of the marathon. This is a great distance, as it’s the length of the run portion of my triathlon (1 mile swim, 26 mile bike ride, 10K run). I will be able to fit this into my existing tri-training, help a great cause, and best of all I made a new friend!

Sadly, Manolo passed away from cancer in 2022. I did RunAPalooza with him every year since that first team marathon in 2015. We got to know each other better and his outlook on life and friendship will impact me the rest of my life. 

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