Thanksgiving morning, a significant number of locals headed to Middle Canyon Elementary School. Dressed warm and carrying bags of food, the group came with running shoes, iPhones, garmins, and sufficient layers to stay warm on a brisk late fall morning. The “Side Dish Sprint” was the brainchild of the CEO of the TRC (Tooele Running Club) Sandra Hadlock. Combining the need for exercise on the day of feasting with the need to provide important food for the Food Bank for those families that are struggling financially, this race has become a Tooele tradition.
This event raised over 2,000 pounds of food for the foodbank. But equally important, it brought runners together to celebrate the great camaraderie so important to runners as each would run a distance comfortable to them.
I first became familiar with the Tooele Running Club in early 2014. Sandra and her helpers would organize group runs early in the morning on weekends when only crazy people would run. A friend of mine told me I should join them. On a whim, I did one morning, and found that I was a tortoise running with a group of hares. Even so, I kept running and made more group runs. In my own process of working on my running, I became familiar with Sandra and her hard work to build TRC to what it is today. And like so many runners, I gained a circle of new friends whose encouragement I have used to push myself to bigger things then I would have imagined.
One of TRC’s most iconic events was a tribute to the Boston Marathon on the one year anniversary of the bombing that took place. It was a giant event that brought our little community together to show solidarity with the people of Boston. It was also used to give encouragement to Tooele’s marathoners who would seek to qualify to run that august event.
Between group runs, a Facebook page, TRC apparel, decals, etc., this group Sandra has headed up has made a tangible difference in the lives of Tooele County runners and even runners with just a Tooele County connection. Sandra admittedly has had a lot of help. People like Tracy Shaffer, Karrie Middaugh, Charlie Roberts and many others have contributed mightily to this organization, but Sandra played an important role in getting the organization where it is today and I felt it important to articulate how much her efforts are appreciated.
Sandra’s creed is “mother first, wife second and then athlete, and she lives this paradigm to the fullest. Sandra is married to Wade Hadlock and is the mother of three kids, Josh (10), Aunika (5) and Lila (2). She goes by a handful of nicknames including “Sandra Dee”, “Coach”, and “That One Lady That Makes Everything Happen.” She is part of a group of loonies who get up twice a week around 4:00 a.m. and run the roads of Erda and Stansbury. She also swims regularly at Pratt Aquatic Center and has several marathons, half marathons and a boatload of triathlons to her credit.
And though she has given me grief for my liberal political views, the fact that she has opinions and is thinking about the problems facing our federal and local government shows that she is educated and committed to her community. With a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Utah in mathematics, I would assume nothing less. Because of this contribution to the community and recognizing its impact, I thought a “praise bomb” was overdue.