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By Transamerica / Oct 26, 2016

Transamerica Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Half Marathon Rocks $25k for AHA

tlpbdmtw51016 Inspiring and guiding people to achieve physical and financial health, so they can add more years to their life and more life to their years.

That’s Transamerica’s ultimate goal.

Our partnership with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series is providing one important way for us to hit that target.

During the recent Transamerica Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Half Marathon, Transamerica employees helped make a big difference. Starting at the back of the pack, four Transamerica employees, who were also first-time half-marathoners, entered the race as “Tomorrow Chasers.” For each runner the Tomorrow Chasers passed, Transamerica donated $1 to charity.

In Denver, our Tomorrow Chasers raced past a combined 9,862 people on the course to help raise money for the American Heart Association®. In all, the company donated $25,000 to help the association in its efforts to help people live heart-healthy lives.

Denver employees, their families and friends, and our key partners – the American Heart Association and the Colorado Rapids – turned out in droves to cheer on and inspire our Tomorrow Chasers.

Blake Bostwick, Chief Operations Officer

Blake finished in 1:48:28, surpassing his goal of an 8:30 pace. His speed helped him pass nearly 4,000 athletes on the course.

“Any time you can raise money that will have an impact and help people, that should make us proud,” Blake said. “So many of our employees have stories connected to the American Heart Association; we feel good about supporting our Transamerica family.”

Nathan Lowther, Assistant Vice President, Variable Annuities

Nate hit a wall two miles from the finish and wondered how he was going to push through. Fortunately, he modified his training plan two weeks before race day, and Nate decided to follow the Galloway run-walk method. This strategy not only helped him make it to the finish line, it also helped Nate complete the race under his goal time. He attributes the accomplishment to his preparation and to sharing the experience with his 15-year-old son who raced with him. The father-son team overcame challenges on the course by motivating one another (the energy gels also helped).

Nate also received an unanticipated reward. His 17-year-old son has committed to running the race next year after seeing his younger brother run with Dad. Given that Nate’s main reason for becoming a Tomorrow Chaser was to improve his family’s health, seeing running become a family affair is the best result he could envision.

Andrew MacQueen, Assistant Director

Andrew said, hands down, being a Tomorrow Chaser was among the best experiences of his life. He was thrilled to have his family there to support him. Andrew’s father flew in from New York, and his brother traveled from California to celebrate the accomplishment. Andrew became a Tomorrow Chaser to honor his 12-year old daughter who underwent major heart surgery at the tender age of 9 months.

While Andrew missed his goal by just a few minutes, he never lost sight of the bigger picture.

Andrew said the race wasn’t about personal challenges or run goals; it was about months of hard work, conquering injuries and doubts, and realizing that the Tomorrow Chasers were doing something special.

“It was great to see the culmination of all the work that the Transamerica team put in to make it a successful event,” he said. “Having one point in time (Transamerica’s check presentation to the American Heart Association) with the runners, the Heart Association, and my daughter by my side – that was the absolute pinnacle.”

Bobby Mothershed, Internal 401(k) Sales Consultant

Bobby’s enthusiasm when talking about his race experience was palpable. From the moment he arrived at Civic Center Park to find himself surrounded by 10,000 other eager athletes, to approaching the finish knowing his wife was waiting for him, “the day was absolutely amazing.”

The Tomorrow Chasers had a unique vantage point for the start of the race. While standing on the start-line stage, watching corral after corral of runners pass, any sense of nervousness or anxiety vanished. When Bobby felt the waves of excitement from his fellow runners, he knew he would get through the race.

Bobby exceeded his expectations for his first half marathon, and he tried to soak up every minute of the experience. Seeing Transamerica donate $25,000 to the American Heart Association, and knowing he played a role, made the months of training worthwhile.

Vanessa Diaz, Vice President, Market Insights

Vanessa’s race day was much different than planned. Plagued with physical challenges since the first week of training, Vanessa was confined to a wheelchair by multiple hairline fractures in her hips and above her knees. She’s waiting to learn whether she’ll need surgery to recover.

Despite her setback, Vanessa still felt part of the Tomorrow Chaser community. She was there to see her colleagues off in the morning and to celebrate with them as they crossed the finish line.

Her voice filled with emotion when she learned Transamerica made a donation to the American Heart Association on her behalf. “They counted me!” she exclaimed, and expressed gratitude that her injuries didn’t take away from her ability to contribute to this worthy cause.

Vanessa’s relationship with running is complicated. She is aware of her capabilities and constraints. Despite the obstacles she’s faced, Vanessa has discovered a love and appreciation of the sport that has helped her cope with the loss of her mother – who passed unexpectedly from heart disease – and has taught her to overcome adversity in new ways.