Saturday, March 10, 2012

MJ Kid's Dash

Today the girls woke up a little earlier than usual, for a Saturday.

We had a RACE!

After talking it over with both girls, I enrolled them both in a local charity run. It's very popular, and there is an 8K run, a 4K walk/run, and a 1/3 mile Kid's Dash.

As always, I phoned up the people in charge and asked if we would be welcome. They couldn't WAIT for us to be there!

Elena even had A SPONSOR! How cool is that? Virginia Prosthetics, the company that provides her AFOs/KiddieGaits asked if E would run on their team! (All the other team members were adults, btw). I'm humbled...and so proud my E can represent them.

Anyway, it was a cool morning--perfect for a run. We dressed E and Viv a little warm (probably too warm, but they were pretty cold until they were done running) and put on their race numbers. I jazzed them up a bit, giving them names in sparkly foam letters! (I almost put Puss in Boots on Vivian's back, but she changed her mind.)

Part of the Virginia Prosthetics Team

The 1/3 mile race course was, essentially, a large block. It was downhill for the first segment, uphill for the next two, and finished a downward slope. I knew Elena would finish--and I figured she would also be last, which is not a new experience for her. Still, I worried that she might fall or get discouraged during the run. Prior to the start, one of the race leaders mentioned the important parts of this race: no pushing at the start, to always be safe, and to be exhibit good sportsmanship by telling others they did well and cheering others during the race.

E's last "running" event was the Wee Walk last year; 1/4 mile track, and it took her 13 minutes. I figured with this hill, and the cooler weather, at most she would take 25 minutes, even if she fell. The start and end points were the same for all participants--so, at WORST case, Elena would finish her 1/3 mile when the 8K runners were arriving. Which meant there would be plenty of people at the finish line to cheer E on--a win-win.

After the Warm-Up, heading to the Starting Line

And they're off!

E and Viv were almost immediately at the back of the pack. Vivian was a cute little runner--just going her own pace, and loving the spectacle. Jason and I were worried about E--she was going fast on the downhill, and we thought she might fall. She didn't. Rounding the corner, seeing the big uphill run, though, Jason heard Elena sigh.

"Oh wow...that's a big hill. I don't know if I can do it."

Jason only had to give her a little encouragement, and off she went. A little walking here and there, but she just kept on going. I went with Viv, as she was also alone, and kept running back to see E--both girls looked really, really great!

Vivian around the last turn

Vivian finished at about 5:30 or so--I really didn't get her time, b/c we went back to cheer for Elena.

Rounding the last curve

The Finish!

Elena finished in 7:45!!

Both girls were SO PROUD of themselves! Of course, we were too. This course was challenging and successful, the volunteers were wonderful, and so were the other runners! We even had a surprise...E's first facilitator S was back from Spring Break, so they went on a post-race coffee (and chess) date!

THANK YOU SO MUCH to the MJ8K Staff, Virginia Prosthetics, Gigi and the Arbaughs, and S. W. for your encouragement and help today!


Anonymous said...


Amy said...

Simply wonderful. I am proud of the girls too. I like that they both finished. WOW! It made me a bit weepy... I have to say!

Josephine said...

That was so awesome. I'm actually choked up now after watching the videos. Well done Elena!

Just the Tip said...

That's so awesome! I'm holding back tears as well.

cerebral palsy and babies said...

Beautiful. Just beautiful