Blue Cross employee goes from volunteer to race participant

Shannon Williams, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma employee, is participating in his first Williams Route 66 Marathon event this year. Shannon’s motivation to register came from his past involvement as coordinator of a water stop hosted by his company.

“It is a great feeling of accomplishment to support and encourage the runners and walkers, and to know that you helped them finish the race!” said Williams. “Working the water stop is something you have to experience. You’ll enjoy that feeling of accomplishment – that you helped a lot of athletes get a little bit further than they might have without you.”

Shannon Williams is pictured in
blue on the far left.

A group of marathon runners close to Williams’ age passed by the water stop and expressed how much they enjoyed running. It made Williams realize that he was just as capable of completing the course.

After volunteering in 2011, Williams set realistic goals to work up to a full marathon. This year, he will run his first race event in the 5K run and walk. Next year he will move on to the half marathon and a full marathon the year after.

With approximately one month until the race, Williams alternates running and strength training exercises four days a week. He has also included his eight-year old daughter in his training during the weekends.

If you are thinking about participating in a race event, or volunteering for the water stop, don’t let anything hold you back! Williams is a shining example of how fulfilling both can be. Take it from him, “All you need is effort, enthusiasm, and energy. Even if you can’t go all out, just going a little is better than never going at all.”

To volunteer for the Williams Route 66 Marathon presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, contact Volunteer Director Amy Berry at amy@route66marathon.com.