To Have a Purpose

Desiree-and-Brenda-Web13.1 miles starts with a single step.

I walked my first Half Marathon in the company of a wonderful woman whom I first met on a long, hot training day with Team 13 back in 2012. That Saturday, Brenda Vinson was by herself, struggling and out of energy with a few more miles to go.

As a first-time volunteer, I had chosen to be at the back of the walker group to give support and encouragement to anyone who needed it. Coming from a military family, the motto, “leave no man behind” guided my determination to help everyone succeed.

I handed Brenda a GU and we talked about the importance of nutrition and hydration on our longer routes. We became fast friends throughout the rest of training. I offered to walk the Half Marathon with her, and the smile on her face at the finish line was bigger and brighter than the medals we both earned!

Today Brenda is walking with a purpose – to finish five half marathons so she can give each of her grandchildren a medal. She’s on her third Team 13 training program and has brought her husband, Ken, with her the last two years.

As for me? You can still find me at the back of the walker group. Team 13 has given me a purpose and I wouldn’t be anywhere else!

This is Y.

– Desiree Culiver
Team 13 Volunteer