Thursday, July 7, 2011

Race recap: Smiles for Sophie-Birthday Bash and Dash

On the Fourth of July our family attended 4th Annual Smiles For Sophie Forever Birthday Bash and Dash in Avon Lake. The race was put on by the Smiles for Sophie Forever Foundation. The group was created by Marc and Emily Quayle of Avon Lake in memory of their daughter Sophie who died of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) - a cancerous brain tumor. The Quayle's created this group to help children and families suffering from DIPG and to raise awareness/money to help cure pediatric brain cancers.

I ran in the 5K and my oldest son ran in the one mile run/walk. My husband and I were both a little worried about how we were going to work this as the one mile run/walk was starting at the same time as the 5K. We worked out a plan that I would run with our son for the first half mile then my husband would run with him  the second half of the race  with our youngest who was resting comfortably in our Bob Duallie stroller.

My son and I walked to the start line together. When we found a spot in the mid/back of the pack, I explained to him that he needed to stay by me as there were a lot of people and he could get lost in the pack easily. He said, "but mama I want to go fast." I said, "Yes I know that but you don't want to go too fast when you start out otherwise you will burn yourself out and not be able to finish." He said, "But I will, I want to be like Lighting McQueen and be in the front of the pack." Everyone around us that heard him talking was chuckling.

Then Sophie's mother got on the loudspeaker and explained how the start of the race was going to work.  She thanked everyone for coming and everyone that volunteered for the event. Then she had everyone sing happy birthday to Sophie. Being a mommy of two I got a little emotional. I couldn't imagine the loss that family endured with Sophie's death. I applaud them for finding a way to take a horrible situation and turn it into something positive.

After that, the National Anthem played and we were off. My son as he is so small was able to dart/dash in between people with the greatest of ease. I was struggling to keep up with him for the half mile we would be running together. People around me were laughing at me shouting at my son. One lady even asked, "is he your pace car?"

Then randomly he just stopped. A sea of people were speeding around him like something out of a dream.  I grabbed him by the hand and told him to come on and we were off again. Thankfully after that we were only a few paces away from the turn around where my husband was waiting for him. We parted ways and I pushed on in the 5K.

The course was awesome. It was super flat and went through a beautiful residential neighborhood. I got a little choked up when we went past the Quayle house. Prior to the start of the race, runners were given carnations to leave on their lawn. What a nice touch!

I looked down at my watch at the 2.5 mile mark and noticed I was under 20 minutes. When I saw that I initially panicked. I know what the heck, right? I went into the oh goodness can I keep this pace up, boy I am tired, negative self talk. Then I took a deep breath and collected myself and I was super excited! I was going to beat my previous 5K time! I ended up finishing strong and beating my previous 5K. I finished in 30:30.

Once I crossed the finish line I learned that my son ran the mile in 8:40. Yes 8:40! My husband said he would have been the first boy under 10 if they gave out trophies for the run/walk. I was so proud of him!!

After that we proceeded to let the kids play in the activity stations. They had every activity for children under the sun. My boys liked the bounce house, chalk drawing and sand stations. For more about the Smiles for Sophie Forever Foundation, click here.

1 comment:

  1. Great job on the race! Your son is speedy!