TEAM WEJO, the LetsRun.com fanclub of
Weldon Johnson, made quite an impression at last weekend's Olympic Trials.
Although the runner they were supporting, Weldon
Johnson, failed in his quest to make
the Olympic Team, TEAM WEJO members left their mark on Pittsburgh
and took race watching and support to a new level.
TEAM WEJO had at least 45 members present
in Pittsburgh, adorned in their matching TEAM WEJO/LetsRun.com
t-shirts. Members came from all over the country, whether it
was the Yalies making the 8 hour drive from New Haven, CT, to
people flying in by plane from as far away as California. All
were united in their support of the darkhorse candidate for the
Trials, LetsRun.com's Weldon Johnson. Other TEAM WEJO members
unable to make the trek to Pittsburgh, expressed their support
via email or phone calls (one from as far away as Morocco!).
The former high-school All-American
teammate of Weldon, Erick Hawkins, designed the t-shirts for
all TEAM WEJO members, and everyone was looking sharp as they
gathered for the all-day party the day before the race hosted
by the ever gracious Taylor family. The Taylor's covered all
of the bases in the pre-race party as TEAM WEJO members had a
plethora of food, and 2 kegs of beer to choose from. The festivities
lasted from midafternoon, well into the night, as fun was had
However, the fan club supporters saved
up their energy for the race where they took marathon spectating
to a new level. The TEAM WEJO mob dispersed throughout the course,
and there was rarely a stretch of more than a mile where supporters
were not present. Other spectators became defacto TEAM WEJO members
when they were swept up by the euphoria. TEAM WEJO supporters
stayed in contact with each other about the performance of Weldon,
via cell phone. Their anticipation rose as Weldon overcame his
slow start, and joined the winning pack through mile 14, but
soon their hopes for Weldon would fade as he wilted in the heat.
But TEAM WEJO members are running afficionados,
and they lent their support to everyone on the course. More than
one runner was heard after the race expressing their amazement
with TEAM WEJO. Teddy Mitchell, one of the more colorful runners
on the running circuit, expressed the view of many, "TEAM
WEJO was incredible. They were everywhere. And they were cheering
for me. Their support was great."
In fact, TEAM WEJO members had so much
fun during the race that one of the runners joined the team during
the race. Carlos Paradelo, coming off an injury, was not having
a good day, but he was intent on finishing the race. He asked
TEAM WEJO members how Weldon was doing, and they told him it
was not to be Weldon's day. However, they invited him to watch
the final minutes of the race on their portable t.v. and he took
them up on the offer. He then finished his race.
Click here to see the pictorial
of TEAM WEJO's activities
Click here to go to the LetsRun.com
Olympic Trials Section
TEAM WEJO Members, click here
for a special section.