This weekend, as the world mourned kids and their brave helpers killed at school in Connecticut, my heart was heavy. I approached our local Silver Springs trail race on Saturday with resolve to make it a good day for more than just myself.
The race organizers collect gifts for our local Seniors in need, so I made sure I brought some nice toiletries to add to the group donation.
Random Act of Kindness
I had done some volunteering with a Lion’s Club this summer, and they had thanked me with $25. The money was very kind and unexpected, and I wanted to pass it on, so I folded up $25 in a note that read “Please register the next 2 non-members + 1 student on me” and handed it to the race registrars as I filled out my waiver at the race. Within 5 minutes I had been heartily thanked by all three recipients – warm fuzzies all ’round!
Earlier this year, one of our beloved runners died in a mountain climbing accident. He had often run the Silver Springs race in a Santa hat – often with the rest of the suit and jingle bells too. As a way of honouring him, our race organizers made sure we all had Santa hats to wear, and we took a big group picture, to remember his cheerful spirit.
Run with a Kid (or two)
As we waited for the race to start I was chatting with friends and I was reminded that the Pink Chick’s granddaughter was going to attempt to keep up with me again for the first part of the 8k course. Heck, when I’d heard Nikky was running 8k’s this year (instead of 4k as in past years), I had thought I should run one race of the series the whole way with her. This was it. Hanging out with a kid would help my soul, and I figured she would put up with me.
As we began the race, I handed Nikky a chocolate lolly, and told her to give it to the first kid we passed on the course. She didn’t believe we’d pass anybody, but we passed a boy in the first kilometre, and she cheered him up with a “Merry Christmas”. In the second kilometre as we gained on a second kid, and I handed her another chocolate lolly to give away. She sped up so we could give it to Kaiza, who stayed with us the rest of the 8k course.
The train in the valley below us sounded its whistle as we lined up like rail cars behind Barry, a very long-standing member of the club. We had a lot of fun chugging up and careening down the roller coaster single track of Bowmont Park. Yeee aaaaah HOOOO! I might have gotten a little noisy and reckless on the descents. It was good to be out, propelling ourselves forward through the fresh, crisp air, all with young hearts on the inside.
In an attempt to keep Kaiza (younger) and Nikky (older) both in sight, I let Nikky pull ahead and I ran between the two. Sometimes we spread out a fair bit, but we could see each other most of the time. Nikky missed a couple of flagged turns, but we didn’t do very much extra distance, and we made our way back eventually. Kaiza’s dad joined us in the last km to take her coat and give her encouragement.
We all reached the final climb in a tight group with Barry, and the girls left us in their glorious sprint to the finish. We weren’t last – we rallied to cheer in Julie, who came in shortly after us. I gave her a paper snowflake I’d cut out that morning.
Did I mention I brought brownies for the pot-luck dessert table? They’re my favourite. The post-race soup was awesome, and I snagged a lemon meringue snowman cookie for dessert – yum.