Guide Appreciation

This year at our Christmas Party athletes nominated guides for their dedication to Achilles and helping them be the best athlete can be!

Annie Nominated Taylor

Taylor is an amazing friend and guide. I have had the opportunity to
get to know Taylor starting this past August. She is such a great
guide and here are a few reasons why. She communicates while we run
about hills, any sharp turns while running, as well as anything else
she finds important to communicate during the run for that day. She
not only communicates about things on the route, she also explains
what we are running past. She describes in a way that you know exactly
what it is we are passing, and it also makes the runs even more
memorable since I am aware of what is around me. Taylor also has a
very positive personality, and we have a great time while we run. The
majority of pictures of us while running together are of us smiling as
we are running which shows how we really do enjoy running together. We
also have a very similar pace, and are similar in height as well.
Having a synchronized pace and similar heights is so important while
you run, and it makes quite a difference. I am so grateful to know
Taylor, and am so glad we have had the opportunity to run together.
She and I just ran in the Saint Jude half marathon on December 1,
2018. It was a great race, and I am so glad Taylor and I could run for
the kids at Saint Jude together. It truly is a team effort, and Taylor
truly is an amazing guide, friend, and person. Thank you Taylor for
everything and all you do. I am so lucky to have been able to have
gotten to know you through Achilles.

Stephanie nominated Taylor (too)

Annie, Taylor, Stephanie
Annie, Taylor, and Stephanie

Taylor Smith is both an amazing guide and a fantastic friend. She is
always willing to go the extra mile. She is the quintessence of
flexibility, kindness, and generosity. Not many guides are okay with
an athlete calling an hour before they want to go on a run, but Taylor
is always onboard. With both mine and Annie’s crazy, chaotic college
schedules, Taylor is always willing to go on a spontaneous run
whenever we have some free time. In addition, she is always willing to
split an uber with us or pick us up to go to practice or anywhere in
town where we are going to run. One example of Taylor’s kindness and
huge heart is from the St. Jude’s marathon weekend a couple weekends
ago. Even though she did not have to go with us to take out the guide
dogs, she was more than willing to go out in the pouring rain with me
to take out Marley. She woke up extra early to go with me to take out
my guide dog even though she was starting an hour later being that she
was doing the half marathon and I was doing the 10K. All of her
running clothes and shoes were soaked before she even started running,
but she never once complained. Taylor has one of the biggest hearts I
know, and I am so blessed to have such an amazing guide and friend in
my life. Thank you Taylor for everything you do.

Dwaine nominated Randy

Dwaine and Randy

Guide you are nominating:
Randy Hodge

What makes them an outstanding guide?

Randy is always looking out for not just me but other athletes too. This year Randy ran his first full marathon solo knowing we’d be running my first full in New York City and he wanted to make sure he would be able to do this challenge on a personal level before guiding a athlete through the whole thing.  He is always looking for new opportunities for our Achilles family when it comes to the racing world. He is very dedicated, motivated, and inspirational guy. 

Please share a short story about a run/ walk/ roll you have had with this guide that stands out in your mind.

Too many stories to even share but Randy always is looking to help me challenge myself and find new races we can experience as a team. He goes over and beyond I feel when it comes to making sure I get my group training in no matter my transportation difficulties or other challenges. Randy and all other guides give so much of their selves to help make sure each athlete has a good time but is safe at the same time.  Our bond is a amazing and special one I’d rather not have experienced the past or what comes our way in the future with anyone else because Randy just gets me. 🙂 

Chassity nominated Allison

Allison, Chassity, 

Me and her have watched over each other this whole time she always helps me when I’m down especially in the Disney race she will help anyone who needs a guide always puts a smile on my face one day I want to do a full marathon with her she is my best friend 

Maya nominated Lauren

Maya and Lauren

Lauren really knows how to communicate with Maya and knows how to get her to excel with her walks/runs. She understands what makes Maya happy.