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Patricia Winiecki and her 261 Fearless Friends conquered Niagara Falls

Read Patricia's report about joining the 261 Fearless Friendship Team for an amazing event in Canada: the Niagara Fall Women’s Half Marathon

On April 5, 2018, I received a most-welcome email from 261 Fearless Friends announcing their Special 261 Fearless promotion, the Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon. I was in my last days of training for the 2018 Boston Marathon with Team 261 Fearless. I was overjoyed and immediately placed this on my Must Do List. I had always wanted to visit the Falls. It was time, and what could be better than running them with Kathrine’s 261 Fearless! This was an opportunity of a lifetime. It helped having this wonderful treat to look forward to beyond the Boston Marathon.

On April 6, 2018, I contacted my 261 Fearless Friends and Sisters and let them know I was IN! I emailed my daughter, Patty, and told her I had signed up for the Half Marathon. She was recovering from an injury, so I let her know there was also a 5K. She jumped on it and signed up.

Gayle McMurry, Event Coordinator, 261 Fearless, emailed the details to us and supported Team 261 Fearless Niagara Falls throughout the weeks leading up to the event.

As part of the Boston Marathon festivities, on April 13, 2018, Kathrine interviewed Kirsty Bullis and me at her AT&T Eat & Run book-signing. Without hesitation, I touted the coming Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon. Kathrine cracked up.

Throughout April, May and June, 261 Fearless Sisters Team Boston worked out the details to reunite at the Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon. We chatted almost nonstop on our beloved chat group.

On Thursday, May 31, 2018, my husband, Ken, and I flew from Los Angeles to Toronto. We rented a car,  drove to Niagara Falls and checked into the Courtyard Marriott Niagara Falls, the hotel Gayle had arranged for 261 Fearless. Our daughter, Patty, joined us.

On Friday, June 1, 2018, a glorious sunrise over Niagara Falls greeted us. The spray from the Falls was visible from our hotel. We walked to the Falls. There is no description for their beauty and power. Afterward, we visited the Gayle Center for Packet Pickup. We were overjoyed with the wonderful opportunity to buy Kathrine and Roger’s books, speak with Kathrine and have our photos taken with her. Later that night, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner with Kathrine at Zappis’ Pizza. After dinner and loads of great companionship, Katherine and the team tailgated past the Falls, spectacularly lit up in all their nighttime splendor. It was a beautiful, glorious, 261 Fearless day!

On Saturday June 2, 2018, 261 Fearless Team Niagara Falls had the enormous pleasure of dining with Kathrine and Roger at Betty’s Restaurant, honoring cancer survivor, Julianne Miszk. Julianne’s fearless image graced this year’s medals. Attendees included friends, family, supporters, athletes and organizers, guaranteeing an enriching, inspiring and memorable event.

On Sunday, June 3, 2018, 261 Fearless Team Niagara Falls tailgated from the Courtyard Marriott in 3 vehicles to the Women’s Half Marathon. We were on for FUN! We parked together in the event parking lot and exchanged jokes and coffee. Seventeen year-old Mia Flavin tatted Rosy and me with our fantastic “Be Fearless 261” tats. At 67 years old, this was my first tat and I loved it! We had a ball taking pictures, joking and laughing, all the way to the restroom and, finally, to the Start Line.

Kathrine met us at the Start Line. We exchanged love and best wishes for a great race, chanted “261Fearless!” and were off! Other runners and well-wishers watching the race recognized our 261Fearless tank tops. I was happy to be able to recruit for 261 Fearless while running the race! At the Finish Line, Kathrine met us and placed our medals around our necks. What a joyous occasion! We concluded the happy day by filming a video with Kathrine and Team 261 Fearless Niagara Falls for our new 261 Fearless Club DC Metro. We are so happy and proud to have them!

My daughter, Patty, left Niagara Falls in the late afternoon on Monday, June 4, 2018, to return to California. On Tuesday, June 5, 2018, my husband, Ken, and I flew back to Los Angeles. We are still glowing over the magical, enchanting time we had with Kathrine Switzer, Team 261 Fearless Friends and the spectacular Niagara Falls. This is a treasured memory the three of us will hold close in our hearts for the rest of our lives. Thank you, 261 Fearless Friends. We salute you!

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