What you just saw is quite possibly the best swap gift any teammates have ever given or received. A couple of very creative WMDP ladies, Kate Queeney and Karin Lee George, put some effort into their gift to Jason Ayr this year.
To recap, Jason was leading the 2014 Manchester City Marathon when he got to a key turnaround that wasn’t marked yet. Both he and the second place runner blew by the point on the bike path and ended up DNF’ing after running 26+ miles and ending up in some neighborhood. The sign, which he had never seen, probably haunted his dreams for a few nights after that. Maybe it still does.
After seeing something this epic posted online we had in to inquire a little about it. Karin and Kate gave us the inside story:
Karin: The back story is that one of the MCM race committee members is a friend of mine and helped out big time. She, Jennifer Rood, was even the RD years ago. She’s a talented runner and skier and a member of the Greater Derry Hot Flashes.
Anyway, after the marathon and knowing that the annual WMDP Yankee Swap was on tap, I got to thinking: what to do to celebrate Jason’s great run and also poke a little fun? Kate happens to be the funniest and smartest woman I know and I asked her to partner with me in this stealth plan (a sister from another mother we often think the same way and hatch the same sarcastic plans). Jennifer was game and loves a good joke herself. (Plus they all needed a laugh after getting excoriated by the Manchester press and the random trolls who added useless comments).
I had to be in NH for work a few weeks ago and drove through Manchester on my way home to complete “Mission Turnaround Sign.” Jen threw in the shirt as a bonus. I lettered it myself (by the way Jason, you might want to wash that solo unless you want blue fabric dye everywhere!). As the old ladies on the team and always nagging Jason about getting left out of results and such, we figured an affectionate joke was called for by the two of us. Props to the MCM folks for their willingness and while I am quiet most of the time, I love a good joke. So there you go…it’s really and truly THE actual sign. (and all this will lead to changes at MCM in 2015 including a lead cyclist on the bike path parts, or at least that’s what Jen said).
Kate was the one who suggested “Ask Me for Directions” for the MCM volunteer shirt
Kate: I think we might need to retire now, because how could a swap gift ever top that? But that’s OK, because as a result of my gift last night, I need to clear a lot of time in my schedule to spend on Snapchat. Whatever that is. Jason, thanks for being such a good sport!
Jason: That was the best Swap gift ever! Well done. Very, very well done.
Lastly, according to Kate, Jason’s reaction was: “Wait-is this the ACTUAL sign?” BECAUSE HE’D NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE.