In January, we set out to build a team of 21 runners who love and support Henry and are committed to helping him overcome his challenges. When the deadline arrived we were still 1 member short to be considered a team. I'm not sure why, but race officials ended up extending the deadline by one more week. Allen was exchanging work emails with a client whose youngest of 7 has DS. He put the invite out. She accepted and the mother/son duo brought us up to 22 members. Isn't it neat how the Lord uses even the little things to bring us encouragement?
Our team was such an eclectic mix of many wonderful people. We had several who took up running to join the team. Others who had never run more than a mile before race day but wanted to give it a whirl to experience some of the challenges Addison faces.
We had people who are experienced runners and wanted to use their talents to show support for individuals with DS.
And we also had a wide range of age groups from the young to the slightly more mature. This friend goes way back into our history and it was super fun to have their father/son trio as part of our team. And these boys are FAST.
Our youngest runner was Carmella at age 3. We figured she would just ride in the buggy as she did in the past. But not Carmella. She decided she was going to run along side her brother and has spent the last few months adding a tenth of a mile here and a tenth of a mile there to reach her longest run of 1.5 miles. I know adults who can't do that.
I am so proud of this little girl who gives it her all and happens to look adorable in running clothes. When she got a cramp around the half way mark her Uncle Terry pushed her in the buggy to the finish line.
Our oldest runner was Aunt Dawn, who thought she would not be able to make it to the finish line but she got out there and she did it. Go Aunt Dawn!
Race weekend started for us on Thursday when Emma started cooking like crazy and friends began arriving from out of town. We got in a little pool time and lots of chit chat Friday while other guests arrived and we prepared for the post race party on Saturday afternoon. The girls made team shirts and packed brown bag breakfast to go. Brianna added inspirational running quotes for the team members.
Unfortunately the 20 or 30 minutes in the parking deck caused us to miss opening ceremonies. But there you have it. We did discover you can fit 18 people and 2 running strollers in an elevator if everyone sucks it in. We vowed not to do this post race.
Saturday was a beautiful day in our Nation's Capital. More than once we thanked the Lord that it was not snowing and neither was there ice or rain like last year.
Okay and this photo is just for Norbert... because... "She loves their legs."
I roughly estimated our team has run nearly 4000 miles already this season. But none are more important than these three miles we ran for Henry and the thousands of people living with Down Syndrome in the DC area. Many thanks for "We are intrepid" and all you do to support those with developmental disabilities. Looking forward same time same place next year!