In my former life, I used to do a fair bit of race announcing in the region, nothing crazy, but a great way for a struggling entrepreneur to earn a few extra bucks.
I remember thinking how fascinating it was to get paid to talk. I digress.
In 2013, I was hired to be the announcer for the Trenton Half Marathon. I vividly remember race morning with temps in the mid 30's. There were a few thousand runners all waiting to begin. They were shivering, jumping up and down, basically doing anything to stay warm. I was working the mic and a fella named Ted was controlling the start. As the time ticked closer and closer to the start of the race, it became apparent the event was running late, I mean WAY LATE. Due to the newness of this race and some miscommunication between event organizers and emergency management, roads would not be shut down in time and this race would start 45 minutes late. That's a LONG TIME for athletes standing in the cold. As Ted and I received these communications we stood there doing our best to assure the runners everything was ok and explaining we were simply making sure the roads were safe. Basically, I stood there lying to the athletes and was doing my best to crack jokes, ask athletes questions, and prompt good vibes every chance I got. Luckily, Black Girls Run were in attendance, and they started a dance party to keep warm. Don't believe me. Check out this video below, if you know me, you can hear my voice.
Anywho, as the ladies 'Wobbled,' and we eventually started the race Ted and I were pumped to turn a potentially awful scenario into a great morning. We riffed off of one another and got the job done. Ted went his way, and I went my way.
Over the years, Ted grew professionally working for various organizations and world class events around the globe. With each event, he was honing his skills, and mastering his craft earning the moniker "Ted the Man." I took a very different path. I spent my time growing my personal brand, DelMo Elite Events, and figuring out nearly every which way to fail forward while always getting back up to try again, fail again, fail better, and ultimately evolve into what we are today.
Fast forward to Sunday, November 5th 8pm in New York City. Me and the crew were tasked with setting and dressing 18,000 ft of barricade for crowd control and sponsorship activation throughout 4 of the 5 boroughs for the New York City Marathon. By far, the largest gig we've ever done, and we nailed it! As we hit the final stretch on 59th St and Central Park South, I led the team by cutting down all the mesh branding so the cade crew could simply pick up and roll. While cutting I hear, "DelMo!" I turned, and there is Ted, arms out, big smile, and an even bigger hug. He thanked me for doing a great job and said, "We've come a long way since Trenton!"
Ted Metellus is now the NYRR Senior Vice President of Events and Race Director of the TCS New York City Marathon and is one of the most influential people in running today. His story, and our story to a certain extent, are one of perseverance, grit, and remembering NO ONE makes it on their own. We have both been blessed to have worked with many, many amazing people along our respective careers.
Why am I telling you this? Remember Trenton 2013? We couldn't have been any further from our present selves. We could have been bitter the event was starting late. We could have not engaged the crowd and thought, "Not my race, who cares." We didn't. We didn't know each other and we didn't have to. Our warrior ethos surfaced, "Do whatever it takes to get the job done" and we did. In life, you're going to have many moments that will challenge you and those are the moments your courage, or lack thereof, will be revealed and those around you will remember in eternity.