EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado - Everything is a matter of motivation.
Take Shannon Moller, executive director of the Vail Valley Soccer Club. She used to be a runner, but her porch swing's siren song was too much to resist.
"I lost the motivation to run recently," Moller said.
She found it again when someone suggested she run a marathon to raise money to send the Vail Valley Soccer Club's U17 boys team to the prestigious Las Vegas Mayors Cup College Showcase Tournament in February.
Moller's motiviation is simple.
"If I can get 100 people to give $100 I would raise $10,000 to be able to send this team to Las Vegas," Moller said.
Her Disney World Marathon is Jan. 13 in Orlando, which works out nicely for two reasons.
First Moller needs to train.
"This is my third marathon and trainings can be grueling," Moller said.
Second, this team is amazing. These kids played for this year's undefeated state champion Battle Mountain team. The Vail Valley Soccer Club version advanced to the regionals in Utah two summers ago and last year to the regionals in Denver.
They're helping themselves get to Las Vegas with raffles and anything else they can think of to raise some cash. And they're helping others. They spent several weekends helping build one of their teammates a Habitat for Humanity house.
More than 240 college recruiters were at last year's Las Vegas tournament, fishing for talent where the pool is deep. Last year saw 55 foreign teams and 29 U.S. teams play, and not every team is accepted.
"It's an honor we were accepted," Moller said.
As for Moller, every year for the past few years she ran a half marathon with some high school buddies. She did the Chicago and New York City marathons and swore she'd never do another full one again.
But never is a long time. Those high school buddies wanted her to run one more, so she signed up on the last possible day.
After a month of training, she remembered why she didn't want to run another one.
But she is running, and she will run.
"I believe sometimes the best soccer players can't afford the same opportunities as others and it is my job to raise money to make it happen," she said.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.