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We Are Capable of More Than We Think:
How AppFolio Conquered the 2010 Santa Barbara Marathon

I ran my first marathon when I turned 40. The process of training and completing the marathon reminded me that we are capable of much more than we think we are. I also became aware of how we often limit ourselves unnecessarily. Here at AppFolio we refer to a quote by Henry Ford a lot: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right”. This quote is our way of breaking through those limiting thoughts and doing more than we thought we could.

This was the second year that AppFolio employees participated in the Santa Barbara Marathon. This year, we had 25 runners! 3 AppFolians ran the full marathon, 3 ran half marathons, and 20 were on 4 person teams. For many of this year’s runners, this was their first experience running in a real race.

I smiled at the finish line as my teammates celebrated and shared stories of how they got up early to train, quit smoking, ran faster than they thought they would. Crossing the finish line reminded our team that we can face those hard challenges and, with some training and teamwork, overcome them!

Here are some perspectives from the different runners:

Albert, Sales Team
I never thought I could do it. I’d never run more than a mile up until about 6 months ago.

When I did my first practice run, my friend asked me “how far did you run?” I told him. He asked, “How long did it take you?” I told him. He thought for a second and then said, “That’s not running, that’s walking.”

3 months later, I can say that this slow, slightly overweight, slightly over 40 former athlete in his own mind, RAN 12 miles at the SB Marathon in just over 2 hours. Score one for the older chubby guys!

Danielle, Services Team
I should start off by saying, I’m not a runner-or at least I never have been before and have always hated running. During the race, I told myself it was the worst decision I ever made and that I was never doing it again, but shortly after I crossed the finish line I decided that I was going to run a half marathon next.

I think one of the most satisfying aspects was accomplishing something I never thought I would do. In the end I really enjoyed it – it gave us all a sense of pride to be working together in something outside of the AppFolio walls.

So as Brian tells me now, I guess I am runner after all.

Chris, Sales Team
[EDITOR’S NOTE]: Chris arrived at the marathon wearing a full, yellow and black Bruce Lee suit…not designed for running. He was scheduled to run the first 9 miles but decided to just keep on running….Run Forrest Run. Don’t try this yourself!

I certainly wouldn’t consider myself a “runner”. Before the marathon I ran a total of 6 times – each about 5 miles. I saw everyone at the starting line donning their gear and racing attire – I showed up in my Halloween costume.

At first, I told myself I’d never run another marathon ever again, no matter what. A few days later, I find myself Googling other races in the area!

Aimee, Marketing Team
I never liked to run (and am still not sure if I like it now!) but I love the feeling of accomplishing something that seems beyond my reach. During the race it is so exciting and inspiring to see people running together, people cheering on the side of the road, to see my AppFolio teammates having so much fun outside of the office and to see my family waiting for me at the end of the race.

A year ago I would have told you I could never run longer than an hour, but now I know I can and I’m looking forward to 2011!

Jake, Services Team
I’ve always enjoyed running, but to be a part of something that brought the community together was exciting. Locals were lining the streets and their encouragement made every second enjoyable. I wore a UCSB Lacrosse shirt, and I had so many shout-outs to both my team and my alma mater that were also very encouraging.

I still get goose bumps remembering Albert cross the finish-line after the longest run he’s ever attempted, or when Chris trotted around the last 100 meters after completing the full 26.2, arms in the air wearing a bright yellow Bruce Lee jumpsuit.

Donnie, Engineering Team
I wasn’t a runner before – my farthest race was a 5K. This was an awesome experience and next time, I’m doing the full marathon, for sure!

When you’re training, you’re usually making special plans that interrupt other parts of your life and it’s a chore. But, when you’re running in the marathon, there are complete strangers cheering you on – that is awesome.

I’ve already signed up for a tough mudder in January (http://toughmudder.com/), and I’m planning on doing the full marathon next year, the SB triathlon, the pier to peak run, and maybe a mini-Ironman at some point. I think it’s safe to say that my interest has been “sparked”.

Ursula, Services Team
I always hated running and had never run more than the dreaded mile on “run-a-mile” day in High School. The adrenaline rush and the excitement of everyone around you really pushes you beyond what you think possible. Now, someday, I’d like to run a full marathon rather than just a relay, so I’ll work my way up… slowly…

Training is no fun, but the day of the marathon makes it so worth it.

Vince, Sales Team
For me, this was an amazing experience because of the number of people who ran farther than they ever thought they could. Alex ran 8+ miles (most ever). Marie ran to the start of the 4th leg, 18 miles (most ever and twice as much as she planned on running)! Scott ran 5 miles (about 2 minutes per mile faster than he trained). Oscar turned the first leg into the ENTIRE marathon! Albert ran a half marathon! Chris ran the whole thing when he was only supposed to run the first leg (by far his farthest run ever!).

This marathon experience reminded me of how great it feels to succeed after busting your tail, training for something.

Jeff, Engineering Team
I have been running for about 30 years, although rarely in formal runs. Usually it is a day or two a week during my lunch hour to clear my head for the afternoon. I got started when I had an ex-Navy Seal for a manager who “encouraged” us to join him on his noon-time runs.

The run, especially as a relay, contributed to the great bond we have as an AppFolio team.

Kent, Marketing Team
It was a great experience. The course was fun and full of motivational people on the sideline cheering you on much of the way. I plan to keep running to stay in shape.