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National Holistic Institute at the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco
Before sunrise on a crisp San Francisco morning, 109 students representing all six campuses of the National Holistic Institute were busy setting up the massage tent with 80 massage tables at the Finish Line Village at the Nike Women’s Marathon.
This year marked the eighth year for the event that draws over 22,000 runners from around the world to the half and full marathon. The course is filled with steep climbs and beautiful views of the city and the Bay. The finishers of the race are rewarded with Tiffany necklaces and post-race massages. Kaiser Permanente, a major sponsor of the Nike Women’s Marathon, contracted The NHI Sports Team to provide these post-race massages.
By 9:00, the massage tables are littered with runners and student therapists working to relax and stretch strained muscles. When the last runner was escorted off of her massage table at 2:15, the NHI Sports Team had performed collectively over 1700 massages.
The students were joined by seven instructors from the various campus, Beth McNeill (SJ), Kristine TenBrink (SJ), Curtis Hisao (SJ), Mark Nielson (PE/EM), Lucas Nevarez (SAC), Phil Okazaki (SJ), and Gabriel Posner (SF/EM) and 15 Teaching Assistants who supported the students by coaching bodywork, issuing and managing breaks and injuries. The San Jose Campus Student Services and Career Life Coordinator, Chris Pavao acted as Master of Ceremonies directing the line and finding open massage tables for the athletes. The average wait time was a mere 15 minutes.
The NHI Sports Massage Team prepped for this event by holding sports-specific training sessions where students learned about the marathon, athlete training plans, common injuries and massage techniques. While it was a mild morning in the city, the team was equipped with skills to combat thermal injuries.
The student therapists had fun, worked hard and finished the day with a sense of accomplishment. They each provided at least 15 massages through out the day, more clients than they see in a regular week. Emily Luckett from On Board, who is the event planner for the Nike Women’s Marathon, “Thanks for all of your hard work, NHI! Everything seemed to be managed very smoothly. We appreciate your efforts!”
In response from the post-event report given by NHI Staff lead, Beth McNeill, Curshanda Woods from Kaiser Permanente had this to say, “Thank you, NHI. Great job, Beth! Everything looked great.” The NHI Sports Massage Team ended the day taking a group picture and a group WHOOSH! Kudos to NHI and to the students participating in the Sports Team.