Sunday, October 11, 2015

Avondale 5K

Dear Jules,
Well, yesterday was your fourth time walking--my second time running--the Avondale 5K, a wonderful race that benefits the Charles Webb Center.  Just in case they ever take it down, here you are in the promotional video:
This is one of my very favorite races for so many reasons.  First of all, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the community here.  There are so many wonderful vendors, people walk from home to do the race, and people who stay home still get out and cheer.  Carolyn Murray from our local News 2 is always there, and she remembers us--mainly you--and is such a wonderful spokesperson for the event.  She's truly a beautiful woman, inside and out!  All of your friends from the Webb Center come to cheer on the runners, and since we know most of them, we can always get high 5's and cheers (that's why I think I achieved a PR, a personal best, this year).

Then there are the runners and walkers.  These people are, I swear to God, the best.  I ran the race and everyone I passed said "Good job!" and thanked the volunteers for blocking off streets and handing out water.  Then, as I walked back to join my walking team, I saw people who were running despite the odds.  One woman had her leg bandaged and was limping, and another seriously overweight person was *running.*  It really did bring tears to my eyes, because that's what the Charles Webb Center is about: giving children the chance to succeed, despite the odds.

And, of course, our team.  This year's team carries on the tried and true name, "Fools for Jules," meaning you go to wear a crown:
Oh yes, and some wondeful people painted a purple heart on your arm!  Then we had our team of walkers and my running partner, Susan, who ran:
(That's Daddy, of course, Erika holding you, Joe, Suzannne, and Susan).
(and the doggie is Molly!!)
You loved that dog, and I'm gonna try and see if we can play with her again.  Susan is a wonderful running partner who has gone to so many races with me, and she's really been a constant presence in your life as well.  Suzanne is a newer friend who plays in my string quartet--violin AND viola--, and I was so touched that she came out and walked with us!  
And Erika and Joe, according to their Facebook status, have never done a walk or run of any sort, but they came to this one.  I think--or, rather, hope--that all of these people will be family for a long time to come.  I know you love each and every one of them.  

Kids and dogs are central to this race, and they honor the kids who finish well (I know I was huffing and puffing behind some really fast kids).  They have wheelchair athletes, pets (as I said before), and it's just such an affirming environment.  So I've signed up for the committee for next year, because this race shows just what our community can, and should, be all about.  

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