The time for Lilyan’s Run has come and gone. Here are some thoughts on the event and the experience.
First things first, my running buddy Lilyan. She has not been doing the best but took the time to send me a very sweet video of encouragement. This whole thing was for her, to give everyone a glimpse of her accomplishments and story and to increase awareness about Cerebral Palsy. There was one time, during the third day, that I sat at the car and honestly thought I was done. The camber of the road following the days of hills was playing havoc with my ankles, knees and hips. Then I started thinking about her, all she has gone through and the fact that she can’t just stop when life gets tough… Lilyan and her family are such an inspiration to me and I hope to all of you as well.
The response from everyone was unreal. From the first time I told people of the idea until the actual event, everyone was nothing but supportive. Thanks to the help of Barry from KFD the media turned out for the start and really gave a boost to both the donations and the exposure as the combination of Facebook post and blog views hit 9,673 over the span of a few days.
Speaking of donations… when we thought of this we had no idea how to put on an event like this or how to raise any money. There were a lot of starts and stops and bumps along the way and the ball only really started rolling on that front at the very end. I told several of you that if it was a flop I would try to do something else next year but if it raised over $500.00 then I would do it again. Well, just like the start of this, I opened my big mouth and am committed now. Thanks to all of you Lilyan’s Run has raised almost $1,500 dollars so far and I am hopeful that more will come in.
Those of you that helped. There is of course no way I could have done any of this without my wonderful wife Ladonna and the kids. From the time I first broached the idea up through the actual event they were behind every step I took. I dragged them around the Southeast to different events and they slept on cots, in a camper, in vehicles and in hotels to help me train for this. Then during the event Dad and Ladonna drove the support vehicles, moving ahead a couple of miles at a time to alert others and care for me. Trey chipped in supplies, Celena, Guinness, Hibbs and Daniel ran sections with me. So many called, texted, posted and gave… I would have never made it without all of you.
Then there is the beauty that’s all around us. Driving as much as we do, we tend to forget how lucky we are to live where we do. Moving through at a slightly slower speed than I drive allowed me to really soak it in. Each hill was unique in it’s own way, every turn different. While every season is special in it’s own way, I absolutely love Fall and Fall in the mountains and valleys of this region are so colorful and vibrant. Thank you to Jackie for pointing out I needed to take pictures along the way.
This past year I have ran in places around the Southeast: Georgia, Middle Tennessee and Alabama and locally here in SW Virginia and NE Tennessee logging over 1,000 miles. From the rushing rapids of the Guest River Gorge to the gentle water of Fort Loudoun and Melton Lakes through the steep climbs of High Knob and Black Oak to the gentle roll of the Greenbelts and Greenways to the flatness of Melton’s Mile. Along the way we encountered hundreds of others. The insights from those that were far more experienced were instrumental in me being able to do this. Without the time spent with them I would still be somewhere in the middle of Hawkins County.
Oh… and the pictures along the way…