Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Run For Your Life

In late spring, I purchased a new pair of running shoes. While at the store, I noticed a flyer publicizing an upcoming running series. Each Tuesday during the month of June, at a nearby high school, this running company sponsored 50 meter, 100 meter, 400 meter, 400 meter relay and 1 mile races. 
Thinking this may be a fun way to introduce Logan to running, we agreed to go the first night and check it out. As a last minute thought, I called the running store that afternoon and asked if they would allow a wheelchair runner. The woman who answered the phone thought it would be fine.

Juliana is one of Ben's direct care providers, and I did not tell her about our plans beforehand. She is a go-with-the-flow kind of person and I was not sure what to expect, so when she arrived at our house in running attire, I knew something in the cosmic sphere was working in our favor. Juliana, in the year and a half she has worked with our family, has never showed up in running clothes. When I filled her in on my idea, she was game, even excited about the idea.

We arrived at the 6pm starting time and was greeted by the coach who ran the event, "I guess this is our wheelchair runner!" We felt welcomed immediately.

The participants for the 50 meter run were called. Kids gathered on the track and raced by age and if enough kids, sometimes by gender too.  I was worried they would separate Ben out, but he was included with the other 10 year old boys.
After the first race, they called the 100 meter. Juliana used Ben's NOVA Chat to see if he wanted to run the next race. A quick YES, and they were on their way.

For the next four weeks, Ben participated in the 50, 100 and 400 meter relay. Juliana was there every week, ready for the challenge to run pushing at least 90 lbs of boy and chair. Yes, I could have run with Ben, and perhaps I will in the future, but cheering Ben on felt very good.
Turns out that Run For Your Life, has been doing this annual race for over 20 years. We met a family who runs with Team Hoyt who did this same series with their own children, but now were there with their grandchildren. 
Count us in for next year!

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