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Finish Line staff share their stories of why they're running the San Diego Half-Marathon in this "I'm Running for Sofia" series.

Posted in Blog, News, Running, Team Finish Line.

April 2nd, 2013

I’m Running For Sofia: Tim’s Story

Team Finish Line is at it again! Our goal: to fundraise more than $150,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of 9-year-old Sofia Vezza, who was diagnosed with leukemia in December. This summer, our corporate team of 40-plus — including many members of the Finish Line PT staff — is running the San Diego Half Marathon (and other summer races) on June 2. In this “I’m Running For Sofia” series, our staff will share their stories of why they decided to run.

Spotlight on: Tim Carlson
My fundraising page

My first day of work at Finish Line Physical Therapy was also the day that the registration for the 2012 Brooklyn Half Marathon opened. Word on the street was that it was going to fill up fast, so I signed up as soon as I got home. I thought it would be a good idea to train for a longer race to get a taste of what so many of our patients go through.

Running was still very new to me. At that point, I’d only run two 5Ks and one 5-mile race in my life. There was just under eight weeks until the race and I was training alone. I was also training without a training plan and I eventually began adding two miles per week to my long run. This seemed to work until I attempted a nine-mile run. I noticed a pain on the side of my right knee after a couple of miles and it only got worse — the dreaded runner’s knee. It was painful for days. I consulted with my co-workers and decided to rest it until the big race.

I felt pretty good on the morning of the race and took the train from Queens to Brooklyn. My main goal at this point was to simply finish the race. My knee started to hurt at mile two or three, which was terrifying, but it passed after about 15 minutes and I thankfully didn’t feel it again until after the race. During the last half-mile I noticed someone ahead of me with neon yellow socks. I remembered my co-worker, Amber Fatone, telling me that she runs with neon yellow socks. I ran up ahead and, alas, it was Amber! We finished the race together and then snapped a victory photo (which proudly hangs in Finish Line’s southernmost patient room). The last quarter-mile of the race was on the boardwalk. I’ll never forget the sound of hundreds of feet pounding on the wood as you got closer and closer.

I’d never really been injured before, and it kind of scared me. So I played other sports and avoided running for the next six months, or so. I wanted to attempt another half, this time with a time goal, but I needed a little push. I got that push when “the bossman,” Michael Conlon, invited all of the Finish Line PT employees to run in San Diego in support of his cousin’s 9-year-old daughter Sofia, who is currently battling leukemia in Glasgow, Scotland. It is a great opportunity, and I’m excited to train and run with my great co-workers, raise money for a good cause, and send tons of positive energy to the amazing Sofia!

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