A few of the Bar Flys smile after completing the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, January 2013.

A few of the Bar Flys smile after completing the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, January 2013.

News from the State Bar of Arizona:

“State Bar members, employees, Arizona law school students, and Arizona law school faculty members—83 in all—successfully participated in P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon and Half Marathon ‘Get Fit Challenge.’ This year’s ‘Bar Flys’ team was the largest group participating in the Corporate Medium category.”

Thank you, as always, to Bar Counsel David Sandweiss, who leads the Bar Flys Team. He told me that this year, they had more law student participants than ever. Well done.

For more detail and a list of all the hardy runners, keep reading here.

Here is some heart-pumping news about joining a team of great people to run the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon.

Through the writing efforts of the team’s leader, David Sandweiss, you were able to read about the redoubtable “Bar Flys” team last year after the marathon. Read about their exploits here.

The article below comes again from the always buoyant Team Captain, David Sandweiss, a Bar Counsel at the State Bar of Arizona:

As in years past, in conjunction with the State Bar of Arizona’s Wellness Program, the State Bar has entered a team in the January 20, 2013, P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon and Half Marathon “Get Fit Challenge.” All State Bar of Arizona members, their employees, law students, and law school faculty members are eligible to join Team “Bar Flys” for this event. The “Get Fit Challenge” is a friendly competition. The goal isn’t the fastest time, but the highest team participation. As an incentive to join our team, the State Bar is subsidizing half of the registration fee to the first 60 people to sign up for either the full or half marathon.

For information about the event, and to register, click here.

Follow the links through “Register” and “Join a Team,” then select “Bar Flys” when prompted. When it comes time to pay, enter GFCBARFLYS13 in the promotional code box. Please do not share this code with anyone other than those whom you know to meet Bar Fly eligibility criteria. Rates increase on September 15, so sign up early for the best discount.

This year, we are adding a charitable component to the Bar Flys. We will invite all Arizona lawyers to choose a Bar Fly runner to sponsor. You can pledge money for every mile they finish. Proceeds will go to the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law Judge John Roll Memorial Scholarship Fund. This means that if you join the Bar Flys, you agree that your name can be included on a publicly released team roster so lawyers can choose on whom to place their bets. Dean Lawrence Ponoroff says the Fund recently awarded its first scholarship. This is a great opportunity to raise more money for more awards.

Questions? Contact team captain David Sandweiss at David.Sandweiss@staff.azbar.org.

Whether you’re an avid competitive runner, a weekend warrior, or just looking for a sociable way to get some exercise, this event is fun for all. For those who have never before attempted anything like a full or half marathon, daunting though it sounds, it is do-able with proper training, commitment and setting reasonable goals. We encourage everyone to consider becoming a Bar Fly!

To read this story online at the State Bar page, click here.

And they're off!

On this Change of Venue Friday, let me post a story that’s long overdue.

This spring, the State Bar of Arizona fielded a team in the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n Roll Marathon. I will let team leader David Sandweiss explain more.

Have a great weekend (more photos at bottom!).

As Dave tells it so well …

How Did It Start?

This began last year. As the 2009 P.F. Chang’s Arizona Rock ‘n Roll Marathon and Half Marathon approached, I saw on its website that there was this thing called the “Get Fit Challenge.” The Chang’s folks promoted it as a friendly competition to see which organization within a group of similarly sized organizations could produce the most participants. They pitted small v. small employers, large v. large, municipal, gov’t., etc. Being a runner, I thought this was a great opportunity to reach out to the State Bar of Arizona membership, build a team and do some valuable PR work in the process. Our brass told me to keep it “in house,” meaning that only SBA employees were eligible. When I put out an e-mail to the SBA, I recruited one runner. This encouraged me to re-define “in house” to include anyone loosely connected with the SBA. That got me a justice of the peace, a former chief bar counsel and a corporate counsel visiting from Michigan (how he was “loosely connected” to the SBA is a whole other story).

We were determined to do better this year. With grounding in the SBA’s Wellness program, Bar CEO John Phelps scrounged up a couple thousand dollars to offer runners a 25% subsidy of the registration fee, up to a maximum of 75 runners. We circulated an e-blast and posted on eLegal, and ended up attracting about 25 runners. They responded from all over the state. Most were half-marathoners, but we attracted a couple full marathoners. They simply signed up through the Chang’s website using a special code to get the 25% subsidy that we pre-arranged with the Chang’s Get Fit Challenge contact person. I invited them all to my house the week before the run for a “taper” run—after training at longer distances, one eases back on the miles during the two weeks before the event—and food. Three women joined me and wife Kathi for an easy jog through beautiful Paradise Valley.

How Did We Do?

Unfortunately, we did not win the Challenge—we were placed in the Government classification and several agencies outnumbered us—but our people easily won the contest for enthusiasm. We were bigger this year than last, and perhaps will grow even more next year.

 First, let’s give it up for our two full marathoners, Gregory Barry and Don Ennis. Both were in the age 31-35 group and did spectacularly well (they finished on their feet, which is my definition of a win). Gregory had the faster time, at 4:14:54, which, in my opinion, is outstanding for a law student with so little spare time to train.

On the men’s side, Dave McNeil was the fastest (and only) age 41-45 half marathoner at 2:15:37. In the 46-50 group, Robert Baumann ran 1:46:56, making him the second-fastest Bar Fly. In the 56-60 group, yours truly did a respectable 1:51:23, and in 61-65, Bob Van Wyck led a two-man pack, nosing out Ron Ramsey in 2:15:20.

The women did great, too. In the 26-30 group, Angela Kebric eked out a victory over closest competitor Linley Wilson in 2:26:38. Bisi Onisile headed a crowded pack in the 31-35 group, in 1:47:35 (third overall). Our champ, Nicole Farnum in 36-40, was the fastest Bar Fly in 1:43:24, but Stephanie Samuelson deserves recognition for her under-2-hour half in 1:51:30. Maret Vessella (Dave McNeil’s better—and faster—half) triumphed in the 41-45 group at 2:05:22, Pennie Wamboldt (46-50) scored in 2:48:19, and Annie Oakley [sic] was victorious in the 56-60 division in 2:07:38.

That said, as far as I’m concerned, everyone who participated is a winner. For some, it was a first foray into running, just to see what would happen. For others, it was a personal challenge to do something previously thought unimaginable. For still others, it was a return to pounding the pavement after many years off for career or family, and for others still it was just a nice way to enjoy a nice day with friends, to quicken the pulse, lose a pound or two, or just enjoy the desert air.

I hope you’ll keep running, especially since you’re in such great shape—don’t backslide now! I’ll be joining my Saturday morning running friends tomorrow at Vincent’s on 40th Street and Camelback in Phoenix, at 7:00 a.m., to run along the canal and then enjoy the Farmer’s Market-type spread afterward. See you there?

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