Lets reflect on how this almost did not happen.
1) When I went to register for the half, there was no space left. My wife was able to get her number and enter our son into a 200 meter run. (200 meters? Why do they keep foisting this metric stuff on us? *grumble*) So it did not look good for our heroes.
2) I was able to get a number through a charity - Ronald McDonald House Charities of Georgia. Great organization. I have known several families that have benefited from their care while there children were sick. They do fantastic work and most importantly, almost all of the money given to them, goes to the families that they are helping and not to pay staff. The problem was, I had to raise $500. Uh, I hate fund raising. Always feel awkward holding the hat out.
3) In the beginning of December, I managed to get a massive blister on the bottom of my right foot. This eliminated training runs for a month.
4) My wife came down with a kidney infection in January and we had a trip to the ER. My son ended up in the ER with a high fever the same week and the next day, I came down with the flu. This sidelined us again and prevented more training runs.
5) By mid February, I found out that I have awesome friends. Not only did I raise $500, I was able to raise $540. That was just incredible and I am very humbled and thankful for my friends who stepped up to help me out. THANK YOU! 5) The week before the race, we had a great training run. Then almost immediately, my wife came down with Bronchitis. The Thursday before the race, I come down with a bad head cold. The Friday we drive down to Disney, my son gets pink eye.
6) Sunday morning of the race, I got up at 3am to discover that my son loves to share. Yes, I had pink eye as well.
In spite of all of this, we made it to the race on time. We were in the next to last corral which did not bode well. I am a very slow runner. By mile 7, I learned that I was 2 minutes behind the pace and would be swept by mile 8 if I did not pick up the pace. I focused and began to run harder. I kept hearing conversations around me taking about a pace person and a balloon. Never saw that balloon. But I did finish several minutes ahead of the pace, somehow. I just could not get swept during this race. Somehow I felt that I would let folks down who had done so much to support me.
Anyway, I finished the race. My wife and I have our medals. And some hurting families are going to get some much needed relief because I have great friends. We are getting a chance to relax with the Big Mouse. Got to go to Disney Studios today and my 4 year old got to see his favorite TV star - Jake of Jake and the Neverland Pirates fame. The little guy is a little under the weather but we are all recovering. I can almost walk normal again too!
Thanks for the well wishes and support!