Spotlight on Allison Fitts
This month I interviewed one of our new Race Guard members from our Dallas/ Ft. Worth team. Allison is a wonderful example of someone who truly wants to help and goes out of her way to assist others in her life in general. She embodies what being a Race Guards member is all about.
Q. How did you first become interested in Race Guards and how long have you been a member?
A. I first saw Race Guards in the 2016 Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth, Texas. My sister-in-law, Nicole Wright, who is also a Race Guards member, ran that race with me and we talked about how we should sign up with that group, and so we did shortly after! I have been a member since October of 2016.
Q. What do you do for your career and how does it impact being a Race Guards member?
A. I am currently in graduate school pursuing my MBA and I am also a nanny for a spunky, now 2nd grader, and for my niece and nephew. With my Bachelors in Nutrition/Dietetics, I hope to take each of my degrees into the food industry working in a management position in my future.
I enjoy telling people that we help along the course how important nutrition is in their running careers and how everything can be pointed back to their nutritional status.
Q. What is the most recent event you participated in and what is your favorite?
A. The most recent event I have participated in was the Boston Run to Remember this past weekend. My favorite races include both the Boston Run to Remember and the Disney Tinker-Bell Half because I have never travelled to those parts of the country before and it was exciting to take my volunteering outside of Texas.
Q. What is your most memorable experience as a Race Guards team member?
A. My most memorable experience was during the Dallas Rock and Roll Half. My partner and I were dealing with a runner who needed ambulance assistance and when we were waiting for the paramedics to arrive, another runner stopped and asked me for some Perform spray. Well not only him, but a dozen other runners lined up like an assembly line to be sprayed. Needless to say I ran out of Perform spray and lost count of how many people I helped in that short amount of time.
Q. Can you give an example of someone that you helped at an event and how you think it impacted their race experience?
A. Although it is not someone specifically that I can remember, after I stop to help somebody back on their way, I always encourage them that they are really okay and that they CAN finish the race. No matter the distance, we have all been in their shoes, where we just want to quit and feel that there is no way we can finish. I find that some people need a little more encouragement than others, and this is a huge part of why I absolutely love volunteering my time with Race Guards. We can all remember our first big race and how nice it is to have a support system cheering you on, no matter if it’s your family or a random stranger on the side of the streets. Picking somebody up on their feet (sometimes literally) and dusting them off and telling them that they are fine can really change somebody’s attitude in the moment.
Q. What is your funniest Race Guards moment?
A. My funniest Race Guards moment happened this past weekend at the Boston Run to Remember race. I roomed with Tracy Kilvinger, Race Guards National Team Director, and the night before the race, she and Janice Penrose, Race Guards President, realized that the local Starbucks was not going to open until 6 a.m., which was when we were all supposed to meet as a team. So, I got put on Starbucks duty that next morning. I was given the orders to get the Starbucks and then go straight to our meeting spot afterwards. The security was so tight at this race that I ended up having to walk all the way around this Starbucks before I could even get close to it. When I finally found it, they informed me that they weren’t opening until 7 a.m. and I told them that I was with the medical team with the race and it was really important that we got our Starbucks before the race :) . So, as a result of my sweet talking, the awesome lady took my order and made our drinks before the Starbucks even opened! I then hustled all the way back around the building then through security to meet up with the group. I’m pretty certain I had a couple miles under my belt before the race even began that morning! I was out of breath by the time I made it to the group meeting, and we just laughed about what I went through just to make sure we had our Starbucks before that run! Starbucks dilemma of 2017!! :)
Q. What is your favorite post race pig-out food?
A. I love breakfast/brunch food after a race. Biscuits, turkey sausage/turkey bacon, cinnamon rolls, eggs, French toast, pancakes, waffles, orange juice, etc.
Editor’s note: I’m pretty sure she doesn’t eat all of this after one race.
Q. What is your fitness background and have you had any physical challenges or injuries along the way?
A. I played college soccer for 4 years and just transitioned into running shortly after. I also enjoy triathlons every now and then. I would like to say I have kept my discipline of working out after college soccer, so the transition into running was easy. I have had the usual ankle problems and plantar fasciitis that soccer players develop, however nothing that has kept me down for too long.
Q. How would you sum up your philosophy of life in one sentence?
A. If God brings you to it, he will bring you through it! No matter the task on hand, with a little faith you can get through anything.
Q. Is there anything that you would like to add?
A. Becoming a Race Guards member has truly made me want to help people more than I ever have before. Even though I only have medical experience through Race Guards (CPR, AED and basic first aid), I am not afraid anymore to ask if everyone is okay at the scene of a car accident or something as small as a child falling at the park. Like I mentioned, I may only know and have experienced minor incidents through Race Guards, but you never know, maybe basic skills are all that is needed in the case of an emergency. I am no Registered Nurse by any means, but I can definitely thank Race Guards for giving me that confidence I never had before to not be afraid to step up in an emergency to help in any way I can.
Thank you so much Allison for becoming a huge asset to Race Guards in a short period of time. Not only are you a valuable member out on the course, your efforts in the pursuit of coffee are truly remarkable.