Tomorrow marks the two-year anniversary of my "racing" career, so to speak. I will be running in the Inspiring Hope 5K/10K run for the third time. The first year, I walked the 5K and was immediately bitten by the race bug; I had such a good experience, I couldn't wait to do another, then another, and, well, if you're read any of my race reports, you know there have been a whole lot more since then. Last year I ran the 10K, which is what I'll be doing again tomorrow. Great race, great cause (goes to Susan G. Komen to fight breast cancer).
Tomorrow's race is extra special for me, but not just because it's the first race I ever participated in. Since the race raises money to fight cancer, one of the sponsors of the race asked for people to send in their stories of either fighting cancer personally or of family members who have had cancer. On an impulse, I sent my story in; I have not (thankfully) had to fight it myself, but I have lost too many people to cancer.
My father died of cancer (lymphosarcoma).
My grandmother died of cancer (possibly bladder cancer, but it was throughout her body by the time it was found).
My sister died of cancer (lung cancer--yes, she smoked).
My father-in-law died of cancer (probably mesothelioma from working with asbestos).
My mother died of cancer (she beat breast cancer and later died of lung cancer).
My mother-in-law died of cancer (breast cancer).
That doesn't even start to include the friends and co-workers I know who have battled cancer. There are too many to count.
I was one of two finalists to receive a package that included a video that would be produced as a memorial; ultimately I did not "win" the main prize, but the sponsor was touched by my story and decided to give me a similar but smaller package to honor one of the people I have lost. I decided to honor my mother; I sent copies of pictures and then Kate Eakman, the owner of Heritage and Family Video, came to my home and interviewed my husband, my daughter, and me. I wanted to do something to help my grandson and future generations get an idea of what my mom was like since they will never have the chance to know her themselves.
She also asked why I chose to run Inspiring Hope and why I keep coming back; that along with some footage of the woman who received the main prize, a breast cancer survivor, was used for a short promotional video about the race:
She sent me a clip of what she has put together, and I'm thrilled with the results so far. Tomorrow I will get a chance to see the rough cut of the 30-minute video; Kate will be showing clips from both my video about my mom and the other woman (don't know her name yet!) at her booth at the event, I think. She will also be taping both of us at the start and finish lines and possibly somewhere along the route.
This has been an emotional roller coaster for me, quite honestly. Digging through photos to find the best pictures of my mom, thinking about what I want to say about her. I miss my mom a lot; doing this brought lots of emotions, obviously. I wasn't sure how I'd do with the interview, but Kate was wonderful; she made me forget that a camera was staring me in the face the whole time. I left the room while she interviewed my husband and daughter, so that part of the video will be a surprise. I'm both excited and nervous; Kate will also be giving us a copy of all the raw footage to have when she is all done. It's quite an honor to receive this and will be something our family treasures.
So the video will start things off tomorrow for me; I'm hoping that doesn't leave me an emotional wreck for the race. Then we'll do the race, which is a fun one; the weather should be GREAT tomorrow, might use a running skirt even! After the race, we'll be staying for a pancake breakfast and getting to meet some of our Ragnar teammates for the first time. Then it's off to celebrate Mother's Day a day early with our daughter, son-in-law, and grandson (yippee!), and finally we'll be going a Third Day concert to finish the evening. Whew; I'm tired thinking about all that, and I still have to finish work and get some things done today!
I'll post a race report and also how things went, but it probably won't be until Sunday the way the day looks right now--I suspect I'll come home from the concert and fall immediately into bed!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and particularly Mother's Day in store.