This year for my birthday, I wanted to do something a little different. Instead of having a party or gathering, and instead of getting gifts, I asked my friends and family for something a bit more interactive. Since 2013, I’ve participated in a 5K that supports the local Rape Crisis Center. Every year, I’ve run or walked this with friends or family. Last year, I even flew to San Antonio from Boston to participate. I asked all my friends and family to either come out to participate, or sign up as a virtual participate to support the Center, in lieu of gifts.
Jason and the boys were the first to sign up with me, and all five of us ordered superhero shirts (the Run 4 Hope 5K theme is superheroes). Ambrose’s Gandolf shirt, sadly, didn’t come in by the race, so he wore the race t-shirt, but the rest of us got ours. Thundercats, Daredevil, Watership Down, and Space Ghost. Some more obscure than others, ha!
My dad and stepmom also signed up, and my cousin Jen as well. We all set off at different paces. Morrigan was hoping to finish in 22 mins, despite not having run for years (heh). Laurence wanted to walk/run the 5K. Jason and Ambrose planned to walk together. My dad and stepmom were both going to run the whole thing, through at different speeds, as my stepmom has been training and my dad hasn’t. The other five of us were going to walk together. That was the plan, and some of us stuck to it, but others changed plans partway through. Long story (kinda) short:
1) Morrigan finished in 27:19, which he was a little disappointed by. Despite the fact that he got first place in his age group. 2) Laurence and Ambrose came in 7th and 8th in their age group, respectively, only two minutes apart, because Ambrose kind of jokingly ran his way through most of the 5K. Jason eventually let him go on ahead about two miles in, because he hadn’t been planning to run and was getting tired. 3) Jen and I split off from some of the others after about a mile, because we both wanted to do some jogging sections. We ended up coming in at 49 mins even. Woot! 4) My dad and stepmom both jogged the whole 5K, and my three friends, whose goal was to finish under an hour, came in over seven minutes faster than that. Yay!
Really, though, the best part of this whole thing was the group of eleven of us all hanging out together, all these people who came out to support the Center with me. It felt like being in a big hug, and had me smiling for the rest of the day!
ETA: Some of the official 5K photos were posted this morning, and I found this lovely one of Ambrose as he crossed the finish line. I just have to take a moment to tell you all about this lovely child who had no interest in running, making a good time on the race, or anything competitive. He began running as a joke to motivate a little girl, and then continued in the spirit of, “Wouldn’t it be fun to tease Mom by passing her?” “Do you think we could pass that dog up there?” Etc. He enjoyed himself the whole time, never pushing to where he felt bad, and finished the 5K with characteristic flare because he knew they were taking photos. I so rarely see anyone, much less a nearly-14-year-old boy, approach life with such a sense of enjoyment and fun and happiness.