So like I said... these posts coming about the Publix 13.1 may be a bit out of order, but it was so great to hear from one of our athletes last week that we had to get that out there. We should have some news from Curtis up later this week along with some notes from the 5k!!
Again, I cannot thank everyone enough for playing such a big part in an exciting weekend. When we set out to start the Kyle Pease Foundation, we had no idea that in two short years we would have 10 athletes participating in a weekend of events!! What a true honor to be a part of it all.
The happy hour was a great kick off to our weekend and it was awesome to hear JDude speak!
|Friends, athletes and good times!|
But the bigger joy was having more than a chair to show people but athletes. Athletes like Rich and Kevin Enners, who are trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon!
|And I thought I look determined on the course!!|
Or Greg & Marin Smith in their first 13.1...
|The photo we didn't post was her getting a mid race apple sauce :)|
What a fantastic weekend and we have all of you to thank! Finally I want to close out with some thoughts from one of our first volunteers. It takes more than just athletes and our first round of volunteers came through at Publix in a big way.
A Volunteers Story:
The opportunity came through my company, LocumTenens.com, a supporter of the Kyle Pease Foundation, to assist one of their athletes through his first half marathon. I jumped at the chance and grabbed my awesome coworker and running partner, Liz to take part as well. On race day morning I finally got to meet the great Curtis Ward and was so excited to run with him through 13.1 miles of Atlanta streets. We got Curtis into his jogger and made our way to the start line. I was told I’d have another KPeasey volunteer, David Gaynoe, running alongside me as well as two cyclists to help clear the way of other runners.
The gun went off for us at 6:55 to give us a 5 minute head start on the other thousands of runners. It was tough getting warmed up and within minutes of the first hill David offered to help me push Curtis which was awesome! David helped the whole way (thank you, David!) and together we got Curtis reaching some pretty high speeds on the down hills as the three of us shouted in unison, “Look out – coming through, we WILL take you out!” I was amazed at how many runners told us good job and to keep it up, many of them slowing down their pace to pat Curtis on the shoulder. I think we said, “thank you!” at least five thousand times that morning. No joke. Truly amazing. There were plenty of water stations, and Curtis never wanted any. But it was a different story when we got to the stations offering Jelly Belly’s and M&Ms! We fueled up and kept pushing through and before we knew it we were on our last mile. The crowds were incredible, cheering and clapping and pushing us through the last of the countless Atlanta hills. As we neared the finish line I was yelling at Curtis to wave to the crowds and enjoy this moment he had earned. Crossing the finish line was so exciting, a combination of relief and exhilaration. And watching them put that beautiful green medal around Curtis’s neck was THE BEST! We stopped for a few pictures and then enjoyed what we all agreed was the best chocolate milk ever created. I was so proud of Curtis for doing his first half marathon! I heard some people saying what a nice thing we did for him, but it was truly Curtis who gave me the gift that day. Thanks KPeasey crew – you are all inspiring and congrats to the amazing athletes who achieved new milestones on March 17, 2013. I will never forget it and can’t wait for the next one!
|Curtis after his first race!|
|Tara & Curtis post race with medals. (not pictured: chocolate milk)|