Sunday, August 4, 2013

2013 St. Jude Chicago To Peoria Run Recap

By The Numbers:

Chicago To Peoria Group raised $302,000!
Peoria Police Team raised $31,684.88 2nd top fundraising team
As an individual I raised $6,547 top fundraiser for my team and out of all 191 Chicago runners!
I ran 13 legs and covered nearly 34 miles.

I got a shiny award!

Four months ago my only wish was to have a successful surgery, not only to beat cervical cancer but to have a good recovery so I could lace up August 2nd & 3rd and run for St. Jude. The past two days have meant more to me than any run ever has. As little as 4 weeks ago I still had doubt that I was going to be able to even run, those doubts were not only pushed aside but they were shattered and burned; I ran 3 miles more than last year. I think it's safe to say I'm back...with a vengeance.

Our motto is "We run for those who can't!" and that's the best way to describe the run, that and the number's I've posted above. I hope that with the run we've given hope and inspired others and maybe someday (sooner rather than later) we'll be a part of  finding a cure not just to childhood cancers but ALL cancers.

As for the actual run it's self I'll say that I was surprised at how fast the time went by and how great I felt. The entire run I wore Caleb's number on my arm. I had a lot of people ask "What's that number for?" or tease me and say "What are you doing a triathlon later?" and then I would explain to them each St. Jude patient gets assigned a number and it's how they are identified for their treatments and that was his number. I'd say wearing it served it's purpose. I wore it the entire run, it had to be touched up a few times but it was always on me.

The runners on my RV were a great community, we got along great and just had a lot of fun and laughs together, I couldn't have asked for a better group. Not only were they cheerleaders for each other but they were for EVERYONE on the entire run. One moment that sticks out is one run we did had the mom from Team Alivia, she had lost her daughter to cancer in November of last year and so they were running in her memory and to give back to St. Jude because St. Jude gave her a few extra months with her daughter. Well, she wasn't a runner but she gave this run so much heart and one run she was struggling to keep up and was so close to the finish but so far away. It was taking everything in her to not jump in the chase van but with every step that's where she was heading. So two of my teammates told us up front to hold up so they could bring her to the front and she'd lead us to the stop. And she did. She took us in. She finished the run with tears streaming down her face. That same woman (I believe her name is Amanda) also led us into the civic center yesterday and lead the entire Chicago group to the stop once again. As I watched her and her sister run, arms wrapped around on another I felt like I could read their emotions of pride, not only that they made it but what they had accomplised and overcome. They had set out to do impossible, to give back and honor her daughter and niece, and that's exactly what they had done. As I watched them I couldn't help but think about what I had overcome, I did it too, I concurred my own impossible.

PS: I really wanted to end this with that last statement but I have to add that one of the best parts of this whole process was hearing Matty tell me that he was very proud of me. I didn't know where to fit that in but I really wanted him to know how much that meant to me.