Monday, March 16, 2015

Final Leg Team Update - 17 March 2015

Dear Final Leg Team Members;

In the spirit of Saint Patrick Day (tomorrow), Cead Mile Failte!  A “hundred thousand welcomes” to our Final Leg adventure!

The clock is ticking and we are getting closer, only 117 days until we all arrive in Los Angeles to begin our amazing journey through 135 cities in towns all across the great state of California.  Our mission as Guardians of the Flame and the impact we can have building excitement for the World Games and awareness for Special Olympics is beyond measure!

It is important that you arrive in the best shape possible as our schedule is intense, intentionally, so that we can cover as much territory as possible spreading our message.  By the way, this past weekend while in Los Angeles, it was 92 degrees!  Quite a relief for me where we had a foot of snow the previous week in Maryland but also a preview of the Final Leg weather to come! 

I just came back from Los Angeles from some great meetings where all the pieces of the puzzle are coming together.  Our Torch Runs will include many iconic sites and areas all over California, specifically designed to get us the “most bang for our buck” with media exposure and opportunity to reach thousands upon thousands of people with the intent of making each and every one of them a new fan and supporter of Special Olympics!  Are you up for a run across the Golden Gate Bridge?  How about a run to the Queen Mary or a Torch Run down Hollywood Boulevard?  Anyone care to show off their skills on Muscle Beach?  These are just a sampling of the areas we will visit during the Final Leg event…’s going to be amazing!

In my previous communication I provided the ceremony locations.  We have now completed the speaking assignments and I have attached them to this e-mail.  Most of the law enforcement runners will be speaking at two (2) ceremonies with the athletes each speaking at multiple ceremonies.  We had previously touched on the gift exchange tradition at each ceremony.  Law Enforcement runners, we ask that you bring something from your city/state/town, police department, Torch Run programs, or Special Olympics program to present to the local law enforcement speaker.  This could be a mug, Torch Run t-shirt, local Torch Run medallion, patch from your agency, local history book, about your country/state/town/agency, etc.  The gift does not have to be elaborate but should be meaningful.  In the past, local Chambers of Commerce and Tourism Boards have been able to assist runners with these gifts in many instances.   If you are speaking at two ceremonies, and most of you are, we ask that you bring two gifts for the exchange.  Athletes, we will provide you with a Final Leg medallion to present as your gift so you this does not apply to you.

I hope that everyone has been communicating with one another at the team level, building excitement and esprit de corp!  I have seen many of you on Facebook and know that a couple of the teams have even created their own Final Leg Team Facebook page….that is great!

After painstaking review of all the runner profiles, we have completed the rooming assignments for the entire Final Leg event.  There are many times that the entire Final Leg Team (all three routes) will be rooming in the staying at the same location in the evenings and this is great.  That gives us the opportunity to get to know each other better across the team as a whole and not just on our individual routes.  In selecting roommates we tried our best to room runners with varying degrees of Torch Run and Special Olympics together as well as being very geographically diverse.  Ten law enforcement runners and ten athletes were selected to be roommates and have already been notified so that they could have the opportunity to get to know one another before the event.

I have attached the spreadsheet with your roommate to this e-mail.  As I stated, a lot of research and thought went in to the assignment of roommates and they are not subject to change.    

Stay tuned for more information.  We will be providing each runner with a template press release that you can use in your own communities to let them know about your selection to the Final Leg team and the important mission that you are about to embark on and create awareness for the World Games and Special Olympics.  All you will have to do is fill in the blanks for your name and program and it has all of the other information that you need.  Our Final Leg Event Guide should also be completed shortly and we will provide you with a Dropbox link where you can download that.  

If you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact your Team Leader or me.

John Newnan

Team Captain
2015 Los Angeles Final Leg