Tag Archives: 5K

WDW Marathon Weekend Presented by Cigna – 5K

28 Dec

Happy Tuesday!!

Next week, I’m heading to Florida for my second (and last?!) #DopeyChallenge at the WDW Marathon Weekend Presented by Cigna. And, while I am a *bit* undertrained I am SUPER excited!

The first race of the weekend is the 5K – Bright and early Thursday morning I will join a few thousand of my best friends as we take a tour of EPCOT– a lot of backstage sights and a loop around the World Showcase (margaritas not included 😦 ) And let me tell you – the sight of Spaceship Earth lit up in the early (early!) morning hours and running through a World Showcase lit by the sunrise – is an awesome sight!

One of those thousands is the gentleman I’m going to introduce to you now!

Meet Mr. Mark Harsanye, 58 years old and resident of Henderson, Nev. (near Las Vegas)

Mark is a long-term disability customer with Cigna who is also a Cigna customer referral program participant with Achilles International. He will be running the 5K as part of Team Cigna and here’s his story!

Mark figures the injury occurred more than 35 years ago during basic training in the United States Air Force. He climbed a 30ft tower when the wind took him. Gravity and the ground did rest breaking his leg in two places.

“Over the years, normal wear and tear caught up with me,” said Mark. “In my 40s, my doctor warned me knee replacement surgery would be inevitable. I hoped that I could make it until 70, but the pain became unbearable. I just couldn’t do it anymore.”

He researched the surgery, the recovery time, and talked with others about it. He felt fairly well prepared for the procedure and the journey back to health and to work in June 2017. Twelve weeks later, he grew impatient as his knee still had a lot of scar tissue. So, he opted for another surgery to remove scar tissue.

“Before the replacement, I thought hard work would get me back on my feet faster,” said Mark. “After surgery, it felt more like ‘what did I do?’ I’m competitive. When I saw others recovering faster, I wanted to become better. An in-home physical therapist helped, but the second surgery helped me improve the flexibility of my knee.”

Mark couldn’t wait to get back to work. Getting a call from his Cigna vocational coach, Alicia Troski,  he found a partner with the energy he needed to make even greater strides.

“He came ready to work,” said Alicia. “He didn’t want to be dependent on anyone. That mentality means a lot when overcoming a difficult recovery process. For some, it’s easy to quit and fall back into an easy chair. Not Mark. He remained focused on getting himself back.”

One of the resources Alicia offered, the Cigna customer referral program with Achilles International, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities participate in athletic events, encourages people like Mark to build up physical strength and stamina.

Cigna partners with organizations like Achilles International to help customers achieve their return to work goals by providing access to additional rehabilitation resources including ergonomic office equipment, software, education and accommodations to help customers stay safe and be productive at work, encouragement and support, resume review and job placement assistance.

“My employer has been supportive throughout my recovery process from accommodations to treatment,” said Mark. “If I needed a break to ice my knee, I could do it as I needed, when I needed. If I had to take off for therapy, I felt comfortable do so.”

As a result of his hard work and dedication to return to work, Cigna offered Mark the opportunity to participate in the Walt Disney World® 5K presented by Cigna on Thursday, January 4th as a member of Team Cigna.

“I have a plan – stretches, working my core, weight training,” said Mark. “If I did nothing, it would be like owning a sports car and letting it rot. I’m only going to get better by working at it.”

The Cigna Customer Referral Program with Achilles International demonstrates Cigna’s promise to partner with customers “Together, All the Way” along their unique health journey. When injury or illness occurs, Cigna helps them get back on track to achieve their goals.

“For Cigna customers, participating in a race represents a healthy milestone on the road to recovery, but also independence,” said Alicia. “As people gain physical strength, they also build confidence, which can positively affect all areas of your life.”

“I’ve come far, but I see it as just the beginning,” said Mark. “I’m back and work because of Bethany and none of this would have been possible without Cigna. So many resources came together to make things happen at my own pace.”

So…Moving on :)

22 Aug

My good intentions have not been so great at keeping up on this so I’m hoping to throw a bunch of race recaps out her interspersed with some …you know…life kind of stuff!!

So back in April, after the Hershey 10K and my make-up WDW half, I only had one more 5K on my schedule – it is one I started doing a few years ago. MahoneySabol 5K.

This 5K is kind of the kick-off event for the Traveler’s Championship, a PGA tour that I have volunteered at for 9 years now!  It is run out at the golf course and is really a fun, family friendly event!

Stormtroopers make good parking lot attendants….

It’s a bit of a late starter – usually 11 am- which is a nice change. Sponsors are Mahoney Sabol & Company, a regional , tax, assurance, and business advisory firm, and Traveler’s Insurance. Partners  include Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, Bears BBQ (my favorite!), Dunkin Donuts (another fave!), and Two Roads Brewery among others.

The tents with all the goodies….and The First Tee of Connecticut building

Dunkin is there with a hearty breakfast of jelly donuts and coffee as well as bagels if you’re into that kind of thing! And at the finish line Bear’s provides a delicious sandwich that you can wash down with Two Roads IPA!

The course starts and ends at the TPC River Highlands and has it’s nice moments and it’s meh moments! There is a small part of running around the golf course itself (not through!) and a nice residential area. The meh comes in the form of a little less than a mile on the main road through Cromwell – it isn’t awful but…ya know…meh.

I spend a lot of time at this course for the tournament and I’m always surprised how different it looks when there’s no tourney!

Luckily the race starts by running *down* this hill!!

There are kids races which are always awesome to watch and cheer before the 5K and this year we had some characters! I’m pretty sure I saw Batman talking to a Stormtrooper!


If You’re Lucky Enough to Be Irish….

21 Mar

You’re lucky enough!!

Zazzle dot com

Thank you zazzle.com!!

And even though St. Patrick’s Day has passed, there’s some St. Paddy reporting to be done!!

Each year, the Hartford Marathon Foundation puts on the O’Races! This year, as an added bonus, they added medals. And at the end of it all, if you did all three races, you’d end up with a fabulous “key” to put all of the medals together. So…of course I was doing all three!!

First up was the O’Putnam – the weekend BEFORE the weekend before St. Pat’s Day. Now, Putnam is way up in the Northeastern part of my tiny state! My friend Kim – at Maker Mother Marathon Runner – had just had surgery and was told no big driving so we were going to met at my house and drive up together. So, of course, minutes before she got here (luckily since I had told her the WRONG STREET!!) I went to pull the car out of the garage and it wouldn’t start!! I felt AWFUL – but Kim happily agreed to drive and we decided if she was not up to driving back then I would take care of that.

So after what seemed like a bazillion years, we finally made it up to Putnam, grabbed our bibs and super great hats and decided to hang out in the sponsoring bar to wait for the start. Kathy was coming over from RI and had a much shorter drive. We ended up meeting her at the starting line. By the way, Putnam is a really cute little town with a great bakery/coffee shop and a dive bar or two!


Me and Kim, reppin’ the Sparkle Athletics!

The air horn went off and we all went on to finish our own races! I didn’t do TOO bad — at least I’m guessing – since my watch wouldn’t work. Side note- I might need to replace my 15 year old Garmin soon…

Now, these St. Patrick’s Day races all have one thing in common — that’s right. Beer. Not green beer. Just plain old beer! And, you’d be surprised (or maybe not!) how tasty a beer tastes at x o’clock after a short run! They were also offering corned beef sandwiches but I passed on that for this race.

After chatting with Kathy and her husband for a bit, and getting in some dog petting, Kim and I headed back home and I can’t say enough how much I appreciate her driving when she thought she wouldn’t be!!

The big weekend is actually the one closest to St. Patrick’s Day is the biggie. A 2 5K weekend!


Pre-Race hijinks with Meg, Kim and Kathy!

First up – the O’Niantic in…Niantic CT — down on the shore, it’s a cute little town. Kim and Meg (we met her before at Princess but in case you forgot, you can find her at Runaway Royalty — and definitely check out her recap of this weekend! Link down below!) came to my house since it’s really on the way down south and we headed down to the shore. We were there early, got bibs and hats (I missed out on this one  -BOO!) and then went to sit in Dunkin to pass the time. Kathy met us there and we eventually headed to the start line (via the potties – which we ended up asking a store owner if we could use his and he kindly let us!) where there was not a lot of waiting for things to get going!

Meg and I stuck together for the first mile or so…then she was feelin’ it and took off during a walk break for me! I was having some wheezing thing going on which was not exactly new but completely unexpected!! It’s a gorgeous course through a residential neighborhood  with a hill or two thrown in…which means one good downhill!! 😉


Showing off some more bling! And our great caps!

Kathy finished, then Meg finished and it made me happy to see her face when I headed across the finish line  – then we waited for Kim, who wasn’t too far behind me!  Again, St. Pat’s = Beer so we headed to the After Party at a local restaurant! Today our snack offerings were chili, bananas and some fantastic granola! Which was good to have while we waited in Line. For. Beer!!


‘Tis the season…the beer season!

Eventually got a beer and found a place to keep warm and enjoy our beers before heading home again!  Kathy was gonna spend the night instead of going home  so we grabbed a(nother) beer and watched some DVR’d shows before going out to lunch at the diner around the corner. It was an EARLY night – cause we’re old and it had been a long day!

On Sunday, we were happy that the race wasn’t starting until 1 in the afternoon. After a relaxing morning and breakfast we headed downtown. Where it was FA.REEZING! Seriously, with the wind it had to be in the  20’s. Thank goodness for another knit hat!! We met up with Kim (and her kids!) and Meg in the XL Center, out of the wind but eventually had to head outside.


Hey! Where are you? I’m outside in the green cap!!

This race is the biggest of the whole series and it was a sea of green out on Trumbull. Today we all started separately, knowing that we’d meet up at the finish!

I had a fun time, and did a little better than the day before. Slow and steady — I think that’s what will help me improve and get back to where I used to be! The sun was shining and once we got moving it warmed up pretty well.  Lots of people out on the streets of Hartford made for an interesting run too!


The State Capital — in the right light that dome is BLINDING!


I love this arch — love it!

Crossing the finish line, I saw Meg in the food line and got a text from Kathy that she was picking up my medal “clip” — see, for the first time ever, for the three O’Races, Hartford Marathon Foundation gave out medals – and at the last one, we got a clip to hold all three together!


Three Medals — very pretty on their own…


And when you put them all together…gorgeous!!

Really fun and some nice Bling! Kim and Kathy eventually got in line with Meg while I grabbed my beer and then joined them.


Freezing cold bling!

We grabbed our corned beef sandwiches and tried to find someplace indoors — trying the XL Center and immediately getting kicked out so they could lock up! Kim ended heading to her car while those of us who didn’t bring our kids (that we don’t have!) headed to the nearest pub!

Had a great time having another beer and chatting with the girls – eventually though, even the most fun weekends have to wind down and that’s what happened to this one. I will say though that I had the MOST amazing time! I’m generally a lone runner but it’s always nice to know you’ve got friends out on the course and, in my case, waiting at the finish! I loved the weekends’ races and can’t wait to run with my girls again!!

And for ANOTHER great recap of our weekend check out Meg’s blog at Runaway Royalty  – she’s got some great pictures too!

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