Brief Chat with Nick Cordes & Leigh Daniel
Brief Chat with Nick Cordes & Leigh Daniel
Provided by Runmichigan
Nick Cordes and Leigh Daniel won the 2009 NBC Today Show's Throws a Wedding, 10 Years of I DOs contest and will be married on the Today Show July 15th, 2009. Nick Cordes is Ashland University's Head Men's Cross Country Coach, a 2002 NCAA DII national runner-up in cross country, qualified for the 2004 and 2008 US Olympic Trials Marathon and is also in charge of RunMichigan's News section. Leigh Daniel is Ashland University's Head Women's Cross Country Coach, a NCAA D1 two time national track & field champion (5000M Indoor & 10000M Outdoor) and can also be seen occasionally doing free lance photography for RunMichigan.
RMDC: What made you decide to enter the NBC Today Show’s “Throws a Wedding, 10 years of I Do’s”?
Nick: Leigh said she would break up with me if I didn't agree to it. Just kidding. Leigh really wanted to but was hesitant about asking me because she thought I wouldn't want to. I really didn't mind it because I knew we wouldn't win or even make the first round of cuts.
Leigh: It was all about timing. Believe it or not, the day before we saw the announcement for the Today Show accepting Wedding applications, we had picked our wedding date. I figured, why not - it just seemed right.
RMDC: What was your thought when you were selected as one of the four final couples?
Leigh: What a cool opportunity. I cannot believe we made it this far. I was shocked.
Nick: I really couldn't believe it as well. I just didn't think they would find us that interesting or think that we would be right for the show. We were happy just to be in the top 25 couples, when we had our first phone interview. I was really bad on that interview as I had just got up from a rare nap and was really groggy.
RMDC: Have you been able to use your coaching experience and your Professional running careers to help with feeling comfortable in front of the camera?
Leigh: Yes, speaking in front of groups has certainly helped. In addition, learning to deal with nerves before big races has given me the tools to deal with nerves in front of the camera.
Nick: I really thought I was going to be nervous in front of the cameras but everyone at the Today Show - in front of the camera and behind the scenes - have been awesome. Talking to the team or at camps has certainly helped me work on trying not to do foolish things while on camera - although I still have bad habits. It is really fun though, I haven't been nervous at all before going on air.
RMDC: I saw from some your comments on twitter that you have been out running at 4:00am in Central Park, what has that been like?
Nick: Well, we actually haven't been in Central Park before 5 as I am not man enough for that yet. At 5, it is almost light out so there are incredibly already many people out there getting after it. We have ran down to Times Square around 4 am and that was really cool because there were virtually no cars and we had the run of the road - and yes, all the buildings and signs are still lit up. Lots of cops and no other people - very safe feeling.
Leigh: It is so much fun to run through a city in the morning, that has so much hustle and bustle during the day, and it seems like a totally different place - almost like the twilight zone.
RMDC: Nick you got to run the Men’s 2008 Olympic Trials Marathon in Nov 2007 and now Leigh and you have won a free wedding from the Today show, it looks like NYC is treating you nice. Between these two great experience to the Big Apple what are your thoughts on NYC ?
Nick: I think NYC is awesome. There is so much to do there and so many interesting things going on there that help shape what happens in America. I am not going to lie though; I love the slow pace of Ashland as it suits me much better.
RMDC: Has being a NCAA Indoor 5000M & Outdoor 10000M champion prepared you for the media exposure from winning the Today Show’s “Throws a Wedding, 10 years of I Do’s”?
Leigh: Yes, I was less daunted by interviews and cameras due to previous media experiences in my hometown of Lubbock TX. They were really supportive of me then and I was often doing interviews back then.
RMDC: What were your thoughts when you were announced the winners of the Today Show’s “Throws a Wedding, 10 years of I Do’s”?
Nick: I was really excited but couldn't believe it. Every week, I thought we wouldn't go any farther and our number was up. I never wanted to get my hopes up for this, as I didn't want to be let down. We had so much support from so many people - it was the only way we are where we are.
Leigh: Well the obvious answer was that I was excited. For me, I just had an overwhelming feeling of being blessed to have so much support from friends and family.
RMDC: With all the travel back and forth from NYC and Ohio as well as it looked like you were also down in Texas how have you been able to coordinate your running training?
Nick: Well, my training has hit a rough patch as I was hitting around 90 or so for the weeks before this all started. I was really hoping to get really fit to hit up some summer races in July and August. I knew if I put too much pressure on myself to squeeze in all the training that would require, I would drive myself nuts and wouldn't enjoy the moment. I have been able to hit around 60 or more since this started. In the middle of that I ran probably one of the worse races of my life due to all the running around we had done the previous 24 hours. It has been fun and we have enjoyed our training together though.
Leigh: It has been tough but we have made it a priority to get up early in the morning, as we don't always know what our day will entail. We have to be flexible with mileage and workouts.
RMDC: How do you think your running connections from Ashland
University, Texas Tech, Ohio, Texas, Michigan and all over the United States helped you win this contest? Do you think social networking(Facebook, Twitter, texting, email and the internet in general ) with all your connections helped get you over the top?
Nick: Those connections are the only reason we are where we are. They were our voting base and they were the ones who spread the word for us. We feel very lucky to have the network of people around us that we do.
Leigh: Absolutely. I think having connections to 2 universities gave us the nail in the coffin. Both universities sent out emails to their alumni. Also having that running community all over the country was golden. I feel it is a tight nit community that enjoys supporting each other.