Join me as I travel around the country to fulfill my goal of running a marathon or half marathon in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia!

Monday, June 6, 2011

When Races are More Than Just Running

I'm usually sarcastic and prefer dry humor over sappy posts, but this weekend demanded some serious happy tears, so here goes: Sometimes racing is more than getting a PR, or burning a couple hundred calories, or even passing that skinny chick just before the finish line (don't take it personally skinny chicks, you're just good motivation). Sometimes racing is bigger than you or I. This weekend I had the pleasure of participating in two 5k races, each for wonderful causes, the Susan G. Komen 5k on Saturday and the Girls on the Run 5k on Sunday.

My boss' wife was diagnosed with breast cancer one year ago, and I'm happy to say that this weekend she was running a 5k with her friends and family as a survivor. When she was about to go through chemo she explained to her 5 year old daughter that some "funny medicine" she had to take was going to make her hair fall out. Her daughter's response would end up on the back of our team t-shirts:
Kids say the darndest things!

Just one of many amazing women who are battling breast cancer
 Her team was dubbed "Laura's Earring Warriors" and we were all required to wear large, fun earrings - yes, even my boss (you better believe I'm holding that picture as blackmail for a day I'm late to work! :) It is absolutely inspirational to see 40,000 people come together in the nation's capital for a single cause. Umm yeah, 40,000 - so take that, cancer! As much as I enjoyed running along side so many incredibly strong women and their families, I hope that one day there is absolutely no need for such a race. I pray that my small contribution helps to find a cure.

On Sunday I had the privilege of volunteering as a "Running Buddy" at a 5k put on by Girls on the Run. If you haven't heard about it, GOTR is a program that "encourages girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running." It is so important to me that we are teaching our children, especially our girls, about positive body image and encouraging healthy eating habits while they are young. 

If you go to this website and scroll down to the last picture you will see one of my most memorable moments ever caught on camera. I cannot explain to you how personally rewarding yesterday was. The little girl I helped during the run was so unbelievably excited, that it would have been impossible not to smile along with her. Although she did ask about 12 times during the 3.1 miles, "so, are we done now?" she worked really hard and I was so proud of her. She never gave up and even sprinted to the finish line holding my hand. Running never ceases to amaze me with all that it has to offer. The race and all the GOTR coaches gave that little girl a sense of accomplishment I'm sure she won't forget for a long, long time.

What is the most memorable race you have ever done?  
Proud to be a running buddy!

At the start line

There was even a place where girls could get their hair spray-painted before the race. How fun :)

Is this not the most precious thing?

She did it! Yayy :)
I even made a new running friend - turns out we're from the same city in Florida!
The school that I ran with.


Teamarcia said...

Best quote ever! Kids are so spontaneous and hilarious.
Love the pics--some wonderful causes.
My most inpsiring race was when I ran the Chicago marathon on the Lupus Charity team in honor of my neighbor who'd been struggling with Lupus since age 10. In classic Chicago style, temps soared and the raced got ugly but I was running for something so much greater.

Britt said...

This is a really heart warming story. It is always amazing when we are able to use our gifts and talents for something that goes deeper then our own goals or priorities and we try to make a difference in the world.

Mon Amour said...

My favorite races are in support of cancer research. They are so touching and inspirational

Fitness Freak said...

Participation will support & give much needed confidence to the people for whom the Races were conducted.

Team Lando said...

I coached GOTR for a couple years. I loved it!

The Green Girl said...

What an awesome and fulfilling weekend you had.

That GOTR program sounds amazing.

ashley (redonk runner) said...

aww i love those shirts! what great causes! i ran in a susan g komen race this fall and it was such a wonderful atmosphere to feel all the love and support being poured out!

Alyssa said...

Sounds like an amazing race weekend! Beautiful post - so glad you got to experience all the joys of racing! The first time I raced with my husband I was so excited for him and proud it made the whole experience better!

Richelle said...

Kids say the best and funniest things!

Yes, running is about more than the PRs and swag. It is about helping others and being active and healthy. Thanks for the reminder to strive to make a difference in the world. :)

Happy Runner Girl said...

Well you made me cry! Wonderful post!

Courtney @ Third Time's A Charm said...

Such a great post, thanks for sharing! It's really awesome that you did that!

Julia said...

SAM! I just love this. What an amazing weekend and some fabulous races. Runs for charity are some of my absolute favorite and are so hard for me to turn down! And that quote! LOVE IT!

gloryrunning said...

LOVE the shirt quote! Hilarious!! Sweet post =)

Quinton J said...

awesome post...loved this.

Plus...Jillian Michaels would be proud.

Erin @ UntilYouTri said...

Aw, this is so great. My best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer this past January. She just finished up her last chemo round, and is doing well. I am so proud of her and how tough she has been through this horrible journey! Congrats to everyone who did the race, that is so great!

radina said...

I love your blog Sam!! I went through each and every one post:) You have definitely motivated me! Great picture of the two of us!

FruitFly said...

Love this post!

My first race ever was a Girls on the Run 5K. I didn't know a single thing about racing, GOTR, heck - I knew nothing of running really. I loved the atmosphere and I think it helped get me hooked!