Amazing Friend …. Bailie Tomlinson

Posted: February 10, 2010 in Training

I wanted to share the story of a new amazing friend at Run for Dom today – Bailie Tomlinson.  For those of you who are new to visiting the RFD blog, in addition to writing about marathon training, my effort to support a close friend in his battle with cancer, my observations about life or the best way to cook a Beef Brisket – I also share stories about individuals that move me. 

Each week I meet a few individuals who tell me that what I am doing for Dom truly inspires them.  That committing to running two marathons just 13 days apart this spring is a daunting task – one that they could not imagine doing themselves.  That running for a cause is somehow a noble effort and that they draw motivation from that. 

RFD Boston Marathon Logo

Each time I thank them for their kind words and share with them that I am truly humbled by this experience.  That any sacrifice it may be perceived I am making to help my close friend is nothing compared to what he and his family are facing.  I am in fact honored to be doing what I am doing for Dom.

There are days however where it is me who in fact is awed.  Days when I meet someone who inspires me to reach deeper, run farther, train harder.  When I come across those individuals I want to recognize them as they too are playing an important role in the Run for Dom effort.  They are my heroes, my amazing friends.

Entering my life this week is a new amazing friend – Bailie Tomlinson.

Bailie Tomlinson - Amazing Friend

Bailie is a 12-year old Middle School student from the Horseshoe Bay, TX area.  Recently she was given an assignment in class to write and deliver a persuasive speech.  (Bailie’s speech can be found at the bottom of this post).  Out of all the things in the world that Bailie could choose from – she chose to tell her classmates about Run for Dom and encourage them to lend their support to help our hero Dom in his battle against cancer.

That to me is simply amazing.

Bailie is learning an incredible lesson at age 12, one that took me more than 42 years to learn.  Find your passions in life.  Determine where you can make a real difference and go do it. 

For me in the days after learning about Dom’s diagnosis this summer I felt utterly powerless.  I found myself questioning the “why” in all of it.  But on a Sunday morning run through Brushy Creek Park here in Austin it all came together.  Don’t talk about it the voice inside me said – go do something about it.  From that moment I felt empowered, spirited.  I was going to do something to help my friend and his family and not anyone was going to get in my way – certainly not 52.4 miles.  Two marathons in two weeks? Piece of cake.

The training calendar this morning called for 8-miles and as the alarm clock chirped at 5:30 a.m. it was Bailie who made it a bit easier to get going this morning – brave the 31 degree weather and knock out a quick hour long training run.  Distance running by many is perceived to be a solitary activity – I in fact log more than 1,600 miles each year while hardly ever seeing another person along the way.  The truth is however, I am never truly alone – as each run provides me with an opportunity to think about those in my life that mean the most.  I carry them with me on trails and streets over bridges and dams and sometimes they even help me up a steep hill or through a tough mile or two.

Bailie – I would like to thank you for reminding me once again this week how wonderful the human spirit is and what a gift it is to be able to go out and do something that I love in honor of a close friend.  I made a promise to come down to where you live and run a race later this year with your Mom.  You guys name the time and place and I’ll be there.  You can count on it. 

Thank you so very much for all you are doing to help – I am proud to call you an amazing friend.

Bailie's Persuasive Speech

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  1. Mamma Schafer says:

    That young lady certainly is an inspiration.

  2. Jessica Neno says:

    Joe: This is just great! Your journey just gets more and more amazing. What a great time that we live in where your message can reach such a broad audience! What an inspiration.

  3. Jessica Neno says:

    And Miss Bailie is so well spoken and put together. She has a great future ahead of her!

  4. Lara says:

    That’s something I absolutely adore about the internet, is getting to hear about amazing stories like this. I tell people about YOU all the time, Joe, and how each person can find something that they’re good at in their life, and offer that talent up for someone else’s benefit. You inspire me, daily.

    Here’s to 5:30 AM wake-up times. Cheers!

    • joerunfordom says:

      Thank you Lara! Couldn’t have said it better – you are such a good friend and great source of motivation everyday – thanks so much. Take good care and stay warm out there! Best, J

  5. onelittlejill says:


    You are surrounded by so many wonderful people! You are doing a wonderful thing for Dom and it is lovely to hear a young girl recognize this as well. What a bright star in the world she is, as are you!

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