Transamerica Runners Train For Half Marathon With A Purpose

By Libby Smith

DENVER (CBS4) – Transamerica is the title sponsor of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Half Marathon. The finance company will be fielding a big team of runners with a small group who are running with a very specific purpose.

LINK: Sign up for the Transamerica Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Half Marathon

Transamerica workers do their training runs early in the morning before the world of finance wakes up.

“We’re out here at 6 in the morning trying to get our times up and get better, and better, and better because we want to push each other,” said Blake Bostwick, Chief Operating Officer with Transamerica.

CBS4's Karen Morfitt talks to Blake Bostwick of Transamerica (credit: CBS4)

CBS4’s Karen Morfitt talks to Blake Bostwick of Transamerica (credit: CBS4)

Transamerica has about 100 runners signed up to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll races, but they have a smaller group called the Tomorrow Chasers.

“We’ve got a group of us, five of us are going to start at the back of the race, and for every person we pass along the way, we’re going to raise a dollar from the Transamerica Foundation for the American Heart Association,” Bostwick explained.

RUN WITH CBS4: Track the Team

Karen Morfitt and Mark Haas are training for the half marathon with Team CBS4. They met with the Transamerica runners for a training run and talked to the Tomorrow Chasers about what motivates them.

CBS4's Karen Morfitt talks with Nate Lowther of Transamerica (credit: CBS4)

CBS4’s Karen Morfitt talks with Nate Lowther of Transamerica (credit: CBS4)

“Just tell me a little bit about why it is you signed up for this,” Morfitt asked Nate Lowther, one of the Transamerica Tomorrow Chasers.

“I have a close personal story as heart disease has affected my family. My father has had two heart attacks and the second of the two almost killed him,” Lowther explained.

Lowther told Morfitt that he’s not a runner, but for his first time out, he’s got a big goal.

“So my goal is to pass as many people as I can, and through pledges and things of that nature, I’m trying to raise about $5,000 for the American Heart Association,” Lowther explained.

CBS4's Mark Haas talks to Vanessa Diaz of Transamerica (credit: CBS4)

CBS4’s Mark Haas talks to Vanessa Diaz of Transamerica (credit: CBS4)

Vanessa Diaz also told CBS4 that she’s not a runner. She said that she came straight off the couch to do this training.

“You have a very personal reason you’re doing this, what made you want to be a tomorrow chase?” Haas asked Diaz.

“Well, I’m doing it in memory of my mom, she passed away in April,” Diaz replied.

Her mother was in Colorado for her first visit from Bolivia. She died suddenly from a heart attack. Diaz said that her mother motivates her every step of the way.

“She was strong her entire life, so I figure I can make myself strong and run the half marathon as well,” Diaz said.

CBS4's Mark Haas talks to Andrew MacQueen of Transamerica (credit: CBS4)

CBS4’s Mark Haas talks to Andrew MacQueen of Transamerica (credit: CBS4)

“So, first half marathon?” Haas asked Andrew MacQueen, another Tomorrow Chaser.

“Yeah, 13 miles seems to be a long time, but I’m excited for it,” he replied.

MacQueen is motivated by his daughter, Riley, who had to have heart surgery at 9-months-old. Now she’s twelve and doing great.

“What has her reaction been to you doing this?” Haas asked.

“You know I think she’s happy. I think she’s proud. I think she thinks 13 miles is a pretty fair distance,” he replied.

Thirteen miles is a pretty fair distance, but having a goal like raising money for a good cause can be a great motivator. Transamerica is challenging its employees to make a difference in their own lives and in the lives of others.

The Transamerica Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Half Marathon is Sunday, Oct. 16. There is a 5K race on Saturday, and a 10K race that also runs on Sunday. The start/finish line is civic center park, and there is a post-race festival in Civic Center Park.

Libby Smith is a Special Projects Producer at CBS4. If you have a story you’d like to tell CBS4 about, call 303-863-TIPS (8477) or visit the News Tips section.

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