You know when you are out somewhere and involved with something and you get an overwhelming feeling of it just being so very special? I had that experience this week. It was when I brought my daughter Dylan to the Reese’s Run, a race just for assisted racers, their wheels and their running companions.
The run was the first of what will probably several in a series to get more assisted racers out and involved in the running community. This initial race functioned as a fund raiser, all the money raised will be used to purchase push strollers for people to use at similar events.
When I heard about Reese’s Run I knew I wanted to do it! A goal of mine was to start pushing Dylan in races myself but the stars just hadn’t aligned. I asked my faster and stronger running friend Sara if she would be interested in pushing Dylan in the race and she said absolutely she would love to! At this point I cannot imagine pushing a stroller for 13 miles! It’s HARD! Sara however, was up to the task!
I knew that Sara would have to complete approximately 45 laps around the Utah Olympic Oval in order to complete a half marathon so I knew I needed to do something. To keep her going. I got some poster board and went to town on race signs! 19 actually… one for every 2-3 laps!
Day of, this is me hoping that Dylan didn’t hate it. She could, it wasn’t like anything we had done before and I know Sara was considering it an honor to push her so I didn’t want to disappoint. I had done six miles with her before and she laughed hysterically for the first 10 minutes and then promptly went to sleep. Which sounds much like what I would do in a similar situation.
And, for the down and dirty, this is me also hoping that she didn’t need a pants change in the middle of this “race”! It was that time of the night… we have a schedule you see.
All loaded up in her stroller we went in to get our bibs and not five minutes in, Dylan was sound asleep. She was going to sleep through the entire thing with nary a giggle as repayment for all of the pushing Sara was doing! Oh well, we were here, we were ready… let’s do this!
Sara was off, with a snoozing Dylan. I was watching and cheering for everyone who passed the bleachers, circle after circle. There is one assisted runner would raise his had up and waive or give the best possible thumbs up he could possibly give every time he passed. He loved the cheers and oh my, I was in love with him!
And then, about an hour into it, Dylan woke up. She was happy! She was having fun! She was giggling! Yes!!!
Sara and Dylan finished the race with Sara pulling Dylan out and having her walk across the end and get her medal.
I have been asked a couple times how I wasn’t crying. I must admit, at one point when I held a sign up, perhaps the one that said “I am proud of you Sara” or maybe the one that just simply said “Thank you”, I got pretty choked up… but I remembered my icy cold heart and I shook it off.
As Sara posed with Dylan for their finish pictures Dylan was so happy! She was smiling and talking and at one point would absolutely not break her gaze with Sara! I was singing and trying to get her to look at the camera but she was just staring at her, and you could tell she was wanting to communicate. Sara was just laughing, it was pretty funny. There was a real connection and I think if she could talk, perhaps she would be thanking Sara for helping her ‘run’.
Yep, I am sure that’s it.