Intown Runaround: Team Awesome
By Tim Sullivan
Her name is Cassi Niemann. She is a 31-year-old architect who lives in East Lake and you can call her Ms. Awesome. Along with friends Anne-Marie DeBacker and Shelly Holdren, she founded Team Awesome in 2007. Here she debriefs me on the adjectively named group.
What are the origins of Team Awesome?
Team Awesome began as a name for weekly trivia or the title we gave ourselves when doing human pyramids.
But the reason you are being featured in this particular column is the sporty component of Team Awesome. Discuss.
In 2007, we entered a team of 20 in the Atlanta Pride 5k. We made t-shirts with Sharpies. The team really took off in 2009 when we entered the Atlanta Women’s 5k and now we’ve entered over 15 races together! We have a website, 100 (real) t-shirts sold and 150 people receiving an official newsletter.
What events are you and your cohorts eyeing for 2011?
2011 will bring a new t-shirt design, happy hours, charity events, road races, jumping and trivia. If you have an idea for an event, we’ll promote the crap out of it.
I love that at each event you snap an ensemble photo of the team mid-air. Maybe you could get Leroy Nieman to paint the scene?
At the Atlanta Women’s 5k, a photographer shot us as we jumped in the air. We vowed to do the same thing after every event. I can only imagine how many times we’d have to jump in order to get a painting. But I really do admire his use of colors… I’m sure he could incorporate many rainbows into our scene. We like rainbows.
There are branches of Team Awesome in five different major cities. Is this the Starbucks of Friendship Teams in the making?
Ha! My friend Jill coined the term “friendship teams’ when trying to explain it. But it’s true. Some Atlanta members just moved out to Seattle and they have already run a race with our branch out there. Boston has over 15 members who run half marathons and bike all over the city. Everyone should have a team of friends.
I’m not so confident about asking my team of friends to do a human pyramid with me if you know what I’m saying. Is there a developmental league for Team Awesome?
One of the membership obligations is to not only be awesome, but to participate in activities that prove your awesomeness. The perspective you have on yourself will influence your performance in awesomeness. If you believe you are awesome, then you will be.
How many consecutive pull-ups can you do? Don’t worry, I ask most women I meet the same question.
That’s funny, I ask the same question. I can do 30.
An Oregon man named Douglas Smith has legally changed his name to ‘Captain Awesome’ – any copyright infringement at play here?
I’m a little jealous of this man. I’ve actually researched the trademark for Team Awesome and it has been taken, so I may need to change the name. For now though you can find news, upcoming events, photos and all things awesome at www.team-awesome.org.