Running for His Life
Team Waukesha/Milwaukee got up to Mad-Town about 9:00. Team Twin Cities got there shortly thereafter and we got our shirts, race bibs from Stephanie and caught up with each other. Mom and Jane bought a commemorative flag that lined the course while Steph made sure that the whole gang had bracelets.
After a few group shots of the whole team giving the "I Love You" sign to the camera, we gathered at the starting line, walkers at the back, 10K'ers (Nick and a couple buddies) at the front, and 5K'ers in the middle. I ran a good race, finished in about 28 minutes, though I don't have an exact time because the stupid ACS site gives a Page Not Found error when I click on the link for Run Times. Nick (my nephew) finished the 10K in about 48 minutes which is pretty good. I think my best 10K time was about 50 minutes.
I can't say enough about how much it meant to me to see family, Mom, sister Jane and her three kids, as well as extended family there to support Rob. The whole journey I've been on through Rob's sickness has shown me the power of love. Love of family, love of friends, and perhaps all of it can be attributed to the love of God. I feel He's using this whole experience to make us stronger as a family, to weld new bonds with Rob and Jane's friends and to re-establish the correct perspective on what life is really all about. It's not your house, it's not your car, it's not your income, it's just the people around you that love you for who you are. Pure and simple. Thank God for all of them.
I wore a picture of Rob on my back because I wanted to be reminded of why I was there. I actually crossed the finish line backwards so Rob could cross the line first. It was a small gesture to show him how much I wish he could have been there with us.
After crossing the finish line, I met my mom and cousin Mary who were tasked with taking finish-line photos. Mom's knees were bugging her and Mary didn't want her to be alone, so stayed with her. We got some great shots of all the finishers, runners and walkers alike.
We went back to the hotel they were staying at which was about a half hour away. Then we went to State Street and had Pizza at Ian's and walked the Street. It was a great day, and a good chance to catch up with some of the family and cousins. I feel like I got to know my 2nd cousin once removed (Mary's daughter) a bit better; she's quite a character.
The whole day was tough. Started out the race with a lump in my throat and started to tear up soon after I started running, but kept it together for most of the day otherwise. I had a couple of emotional moments but was able to stifle them for the most part. It was good to be around family, as that helped a lot. I don't know how people go through something like this alone.
To top it off, as we walked into Ian's Pizza, what was playing on the sound system but "He ain't heavy, he's my brother."
Indeed he is.