Just over a year ago, a friend of mine asked if I wanted to run in a 5k. It was a fundraiser for a woman named Sarah.
Sarah was a mother, sister, friend, daughter.
Sarah was tragically killed in January 2010.
Her friends have come together three times over the last two and a half years to organize and participate in a 5k to raise money for Sarah's causes. The first run was to put together a safety net for her son. This year the funds went to support Feed My Starving Children.
The run it's self is called Sarah's Daisy Dash.
While I turned down the offer last year, this year I was all in. And boy was I glad I made the trip out to Hugo to run this event.
Walking around the morning of the run I was stuck by the love these friends have for not only Sarah but for each other. All over the park there were people in volunteer shirts hugging each other. It touched my heart to be a part of this, what I can only imagine to be, an emotional event.
Then I learned that Sarah wrote a book for children dealing with the loss of a parent. I nearly lost it when I saw the beautifully bound book with Sarah's name on it. That was a book I longed for as a young teen and now, thanks to Sarah, other kids in my shoes will have a resource available to them. Then I realized that Sarah wrote a book her son would need and that was it. I had to move on.
Shortly before the run began we lined up and stretched a little bit. I was already feeling a bit emotional so I was worried about my run time.
It was nice to run in a race with less than 175 participants! We were over the start line very quickly and then we were off. About half a kilometer before the mid way point there was a bad accident on the side of the road. It really shook me and my already emotional day was turned upside down. I was completely on edge and it got in my head.
I tried the best I could to shake it but the ladies running on my heals just kept talking about the accident and I could not get past it.
With about 2 kilometers left I told Shawn to finish without me. "Just go and wait for me at the finish line. You can cheer me in!" I told him.
After making sure I was serious he took off. He finished at 35:15. I know he would break 30 if he would just run without me!
When Shawn crossed the finish line he told my friend, Erin, that I was coming and she walked back out to the course to find me.
I could feel all my emotions rising up but when I saw her come out on to the course to get me I was able to pull it together and get it done. With Erin at my side (finishing for the second time) I crossed the line at 37:57. My best official time yet!!
I was so excited and proud of myself! And to make things even better, for the first time, I got to cross the finish line not only with my good friend at my side, but with my husband and daughter waiting and cheering for me on the other side. Heidi even handed me a water. This made my running career!
After I caught my breath and ran out to the car to get the camera, the kids participated in the Kids Fun Run, a 1k for the kids to run.
Heidi had never run anything like this before. She was beyond excited for this event and gave it a great effort - Run Heidi!!
Erin's youngest, Piper, crossed with her mom and Nana. Way to finish strong Piper!
They had so much fun running their 1k and they were all so proud of their accomplishment, which they should be. I hope this was the first of many runs we can run together.
Even though this morning was more emotional than I had ever expected I was very honored to be included in the day. I feel like my life has now been touched by Sarah even though we have never met. Her legacy lives on and I to believe this is what her friends and family were working towards when they put all their blood, sweat, and tears into this amazing event.