The Heroines

Gaye Tibbets

is honored with a Brick from Sarah Bagby, Laura Allen, & Carol Beier

Gaye Tibbets, you changed my life. You invited me to run a marathon, hike multiple times up Pikes Peak, always smiling while I grimaced through the perceived pain and discomfort. Once on the Barr Trail that leads to Pikes Peak you stated, emphatically "isn't it amazing that we are out here in the fresh air, together, and fit enough to climb this mountain." You helped me and Carol scale a small but rocky cliff to safety on the Wildcat trail section of Appalachian Trail on that unforgettable hike in the White Mountains. I do not know when we learned that leg was the hardest path on the Appalachian trail, but we did truly achieve badass status after 11 hours climbing over boulders in the pouring rain. IF only Laur had been there to save us from ourselves.

Gaye, you encourage me to put more spring in my step, both literally and figuratively. Over 25 years of generosity to me and Eric and Louise make our lives better.

Before I met you Gaye, I was not rich in girlfriends, spending much of my time working, and raising Louise with Eric. When you invited me to run that marathon, you included Carol and Laur. After decades of friendship, we are more than Team Go; we are deeply connected to one another. Our time together is monumental and now includes three generations of our families. I love you Gaye and am full of gratitude for every minute you have been a part of my life.

~ Sarah B.

While out walking and taking in my neighborhood I spot another person blocks away. A smile comes to my face because I realize that it is you, Gaye. You have a "gate" like no other and I know it well because of the many hours we have ran, walked, and hiked together over our 26-year friendship.

You, Carol Beier, Sarah Bagby, and I laughed when we heard the statement "drinkers with a running problem" because we liked to have a cocktail every now and then and we had spent hundreds of hours together running.

While training for the San Diego Rock-N-Roll Marathon in 1998 we reviewed books, were sounding boards sharing stories about our adolescent children, husbands (whether it be the X or current) and work issues. We all had our own strong opinions but did our best to give one another great advice. Sometimes the advice was paint therapy. Remember when we painted your Broadview foyer?

It was an added bonus when I would see you at College Hill United Methodist, whether it was at a worship service or working the food bank breakfast and outreach together. I miss seeing you since you have moved to Hutchinson.

You put the "F" in Friendship Gaye. You are always there with a suggestion, solution or helping hand. Sometime that was covering me, with $, when I needed a little time to collect the funds for one of our girl trips! I treasure our friendship and look forward to kicking the 2020-2021 pandemic to the curb so that we can get back to our "Team Go" Girl Trips!

Love you Gaye,
Laura Allen

I first met and came to know Gaye Birkhead Tibbets as a fellow associate in a law firm, but this is not about that.

Gaye and I have spent thousands of hours on the roads of Kansas and elsewhere as fellow runners and hikers and cyclists in horribly unflattering helmets, but this is not about that.

We have loved each other's children and are now in the business of welcoming their children into the world together, but this is not about that either.

This is not even about Gaye's head-bending honesty and heart-buoying loyalty as the best friend any girl could ever have.

This is about Gaye as a member of “Team Go” with me and Sarah Bagby and Laura Beach Allen.

My version of Team Go's origin story goes something like this:

Four mothers of young children wake up several mornings a week at what Laura calls "0 Dark Thirty" to put in miles for marathon training together. As those miles build and the hours of togetherness multiply, the four rely on Sarah's up-to-the-publishing-minute guidance to read and discuss books on the run. They gossip. They celebrate. They commiserate. They survive being ferried to the start of a long training run by a lovely friend who is nevertheless the worst driver in human history. They tell each other they are beautiful and smart and deserving of kind and understanding spouses, kids who stick up for themselves but go to bed when told, bosses and coworkers who respect them. They make each other promise not to bring up what they are going to eat until they are very near the end of the day's workout.

The four mothers become the sort of pals who show up without calling and walk in without knocking. Gaye, in particular, is the queen of this sort of spontaneity. She uses the back door to everyone's house. And, once she arrives, she entertains, never starting a story she does not improve in the telling.

Decades pass. The mothers of young children live to tell. Of course, they age a bit, ache occasionally -- OK, more than occasionally. But they are still game for adventure, often instigated by Gaye. They make up for what they are losing in skill by increased moxie. They begin referring to themselves as badass grannies on a whitewater rafting trip guided by a tiny human known to her fellows as "Berg." As much as they like thinking of themselves as badasses, they like Sarah's husband's suggestion even better: "Team Gorgeous," shortened for modesty's and descriptive verve's sake to “Team Go.”

Each day the members of Team Go are grateful for Gaye, our heroine.

~ Carol Beier