Thursday, February 28, 2013

Half Marathon 2013

Thanks to my amazing husband for taking time off work to watch the girls, donations from friends, and help from family... I was able to fly to Florida to be with other Rett families and run a half marathon in honor of our girls. I arrived on Friday night and met everyone up for a dinner. It was really nice to finally meet all the moms I always talk to. I roomed with a Rett mom named Tanis who is from Canada. I had been talking with her since shortly after Oaklynn was diagnosed. We had become really close and I was SOO excited to meet her. Her and her sister, Jolanda, are the ones in most of my pictures.

Saturday morning I relaxed and then Saturday afternoon I went over to the Expo to help out at the Girl Power 2 Cure booth. We had a booth where we sold some items and raised awareness about Rett Syndrome.

While I was there I started walking around and I saw Ali Vincent (first female to ever win "The Biggest Loser") and decided to wait in line to see her. She had just got there so there were only 4 people in line so I jumped in. I gave her a hug and chatted with her a minute. I told her about Oaklynn and Rett Syndrome and gave her a purple card about Oaklynn!
I left and went back to the GP2C booth to let them know that I informed her about Rett Syndrome. We put together a little goodie bag for her of GP2C stuff and Kelly and I went back over to her. We snuck in the front of the line and gave her a bag of goodies. She put the shirt on and took another picture with us.
We went back to our booth and towards the end when we were about to start cleaning up, Ali came over to our booth. She said she wanted to wear our GP2C shirt when she ran the run tomorrow but wanted a different size than we gave her. We did an interview with her about what girl power meant to her. I have to say that she is just the sweetest person. She is so genuine and not at all fake. She is bubbly and so fun to be around. Ingrid (the founder of GP2C) and I left the expo and went back to our hotel to get her another size. We called her and met up with her at her hotel and gave her and her friend some shirts. I am so glad I met her. She has a new show called, "Live Big with Ali Vincent" on the Live Well Network. You can follow her Facebook page too.

The next morning we got up at 3am and got ready to go to the run. Our bus left at 3:45am and the traffic was horrible!! We got to the parking lot and the starting line was at least a mile walk from there.
There were corrals based on your running pace (A-H). Each corral started 5 minutes apart with the first one starting at 5:30am. There were fireworks at each corral start time. There were SO many people (over 20,000) so pacing yourself was hard. Throughout the run there you would see Disney characters on the side of the road, not just in the park. 

It was right about mile 9 where I needed some motivation. So I pulled out my phone and played a video of Oaklynn that Austin had sent me. I cried a little big and then kept on running. I also watched it around mile 11. Seeing her try so hard to talk and how she has to work so hard to do the smallest things made me remember that if my legs can move, I can finish. How can you not get motivated by watching this video?

There were also signs that Disney had around the course that said, "MIND OVER MUSCLE" and that reminded me, that is what we are running for. So eventually our girls minds will be able to control their muscles!

Tanis and I finished the Half Marathon hand in hand.

And shed a few tears for our girls
 Girl Power 2 Cure had a tent set up where we all met up after the race to take pictures. The picture below is just a handful of moms holding their girls picture. We couldn't get everyone there at the same time.
And this picture below is moms and friends who ran for their girls too. Again, not all the runners are pictured. We had 116 runners total and raised over $200K to fight Rett Syndrome.

Picture of me with my hero!

And the BEST picture of all... my sweet girl wearing her medal. She deserves it!

If anyone is interested in running with "Team Oaklynn" or for their own daughter next year, SIGN UP HERE to be on the email list. It was an amazing weekend and I promise you wont regret it!


charity said...

just wanted to let you know my daughter is being tested to see if she has a form of rett syndrome.

Anonymous said...

I love your pictures! What a wonderful time for all the Rett families to come together! I am Kelly's mom (Brooklyn's Grammy) and plan to be there next year! Hope to meet some of the great people Kelly has told me about!