Friday, December 10, 2010

St. Jude Marathon weekend... 2010

OK, so as promised... this is the long one! It has to cover 26.2 miles, after all! Maddi joined us on this trip (don't tell my girls!), and I made her a special sign, just her size and with just the right words!

Baxter, or "B-Dawg" as he soon came to be known, got right on into the swing of things... cheering and rooting and waving a sign. He'd never been to a marathon before, but said he can easily see how this one has to be one of the most inspiring ones ever!
This is mile 5 ish. And this dude was flying! He had a blue tag on the front of his shirt which meant he had 21 more to go!
If the tag on the shirt is green, that means, 8 more miles, as they are the 1/2 marathoners! That, I learned my first year, when I would say something dumb like, "YOu can do it! You are almost there, at mile 10. SOmeone told me, 'well, that all depends! For some, they are not even halfway yet." I felt like a big ol' heehaw! ANd so, now I kno w.
At the race, there are packs of heavy populus, then a sprinkling of bodies.
This is a perennial runner. She has been running for Jake for at least a couple of years. I wanna say even more. I should KNOW these things!
WAIT! This is a blue tag! That means marathon! WHERE WAS I?! I don't remember seeing him finish! I am so sorry! I tried to be there for everyone. Oh no!! Karl, I need his address! I need to send him an apology card!
ANother blue tag. This is Lori Ann's brother in law, Chris. He did the full marathon. He and I went to high school together. He is now an orthopedic surgeon. And runs marathons. I feel kinda like a loser! I paint canvases and eat Reese cups!Heeeeeere's Mr. Jerry. Always has a smile and always has a thumbs up!
JInJin spots a TEAMJAKEr in the distance. And he is waving, so he must have spotted us too!
Oh.... it's Trav! Hey, Trav. Only 8 more to go. You can do it!
This is Mary Louise. She is my dad's sister in law. Rita's sister. She ran the 1/2 last year too!
ANd another first timer, Alisha. We appreciate those who chose to make TEAMJAKE and the St. Jude marathon their virgin voyage!
MOre of our Shreveporters who come annually! Thanks so much you two!
I don't know his name, (sorry), but this is Mary Louise's boyfran! he hurt his knee, so I think his pace wasnt' exactly what he'd hoped. However, I thought the injury was keeping him out of the race entirely. So, with that said, he did pretty dang good!
Hey! It's me!
Yaaaaay, Sarah! Sarah is one of our social friends back home. So, naturally, we were jazzed about her doing the 1/2.
She's the one who had the TEAMJAKE tennis shoes made in purple and gold.

And this is her lunatic husband! WHo, by the way, did NOT train a lick to run 13.1 miles! And there's Dawn too... again... mile 5. Would you look at the sea of bodies?!

Hey there, Ron, Ron. You only got 21/2 to go! OMG. I think I would pass out just from KNOWING that! ANd I don't know if any of you remember Carson Braun... he was at St. Jude when we were there. He had a brain tumor, and later became a patient of mine. That's his mom in the St. Jude marroon singlet to the right of Ron.

I am making a pledge to know every person's name who runs for Jake next year. I am sorry I can't call everyone by name. Just know that I am very grateful for you and hope to see you again next year!
Here's another fine example. I am pretty sure this is a daughter who ended up finishing with her mom and dad. Later in the post, I will see if I was right on that one!
And of course, there are those who insist on being odd!
13 miles as an Elf?! Ugghghh!

LOOK at this crew! They appear to be in FINE form!!
This is Becky, Lori Ann, Londa, and Karl.
They all have thumbs up, and Karl is even taking a picture of ME! See his phone?! He and Becky both have the 26 reasons to run that I prepared for them to use and share with others regarding memories of Jake to think of as they run to keep them motivated. Ok, so this is the couple who I think are the parents of the girl above. I am pretty sure they all finish together later. I will have to look at that picture as it comes up to see if I have it all right. These two are bound to live in my neighborhood because I see them training on my roads. And I KNOW they go to my church!

I wish I knew the stats on just how many people run this race. I know they are available, but I don't know them. Just a whole, whole lot! That's all I gotta know! That helped the race raise right at 3 million dollars this year.
I don't know these girls either. Sorry girls. But, you are cute and had the cutest backpacks full of water?! Goo?! I don't know.... I am not a runner!
I was though, remember?! Do you remember in June when I started running and like, my second run, we were doing three miles?! I could NOT believe it! I just KNEW I would do my 1/2 marathon. And then, I went to the beach!
Jenn is the physical therapist in my Shreveport office. She also had a virgin voyage in the 1/2 marathon world at the St. Jude run.
Ok, again. I don't know names. I don't even know how they knew about the team. As a matter of fact, I don't know who they came with. I am such a dork! If you read my blog, please don't hate me. Just introduce yourself! I wanna know you.
OK. All I know here is that this is Jenn's friend who graciously came with her to pound out 13 miles! That's a good friend!
THis is Cindy. She trains with Becky. She works in her training around two small children and a job that sends her all over the country about 75% of her week. I am going to do this next year. IF she can, I can!
See purple shirt in the foreground?! That is Cydni! She started running about three weeks after I did. She quickly caught up with me surpassed me. I am so proud of Cyd for doing this! Wish I'd been there to do it with you!

Oh, and there's Kim in the background with her husband. Go guys!
I'm just kidding about that. They are not married. Then again, neither was he married to Lauren in the last post... but who knew?!
I need to get my relationship facts straight before I post, huh?!

And guess where these two came from to run for Jake.....
MISSOURI!! They came all the way from MISSOURI to take part in this. Come on peeps. Let's have a HUGE turnout next year! Go ahead and plan on it!

Ok, so here we are at mile 12! They are on the homestretch!
So, here you will see the same faces and maybe slightly fewer smiles... after all, this is 7 miles later! GAG!
ANd apparently, this cat decided to take a year off. He is a perennial mathoner, yet, here he comes in the 1/2 marathon group. Oh well, I guess he is just in an even year. Next year... 2011, mind you, he'll likely be back to the full.
Yaaaaay... I love the enthusiasm... especially when you know you've got 12 miles in your rearview mirror! Lindy, I can tell you... I am glad you stopped at 13. I mean, I sincerely don't get the drive to do 26.2 miles AGAIN! Once you've done it, I'd say, "CHECK!" on that one and that'd be that!
It's interesting to see how many people either a) do or b) don't wear earphones. I never did. But, I am thinking maybe I'd like it if I did. when I get back in my groove, I will have to try it. Just to see if it distracts me a bit from the slap, slap, slap of my feet on the pavement.
I swear, I LOVE seeing the excitement on the faces of our teammates when they come around the corner and see us. I had so many people tell me that our being on the sidelines really, really inspired them. Ironic, isn't it?!
Having not been around the course myself, I don't know what it is like to come across the random group of people on the sidelines cheering for me. Perhaps it really does make a difference. Hey, there, Jackie.And hey, there, Becky. Becky is also a physical therapist at my office. With FIVE of us gone on the same day, I am sure some would wonder how we were even open. Well, let's just say we got it covered!
Some things just take precedence over work. ANd honoring Jake with this run is one of them!!
Last one. COme on. You can do it. You've got it in you. Jake is with you. He will get you to the finish line. Come on! Smile! You just ran 12 miles!!
And here comes our little emotional Sarah!
She rounded the corner, saw us all there cheering for her, and burst into tears.
I think Sarah very much internalized why she was running and it just hit her full in the face when she saw our family there cheering for her!
Mishka.... you get that GOLD shirt on next year, MIssy! Mishka is a former TEAMJAKEr and now hails from Little Rock. She is also a former MMPT physical therapist!

AHA. I KNEW It! That IS the family of three.

Maddi actually did pretty well on the sidelines. I cannot even imagine it had she been paired with a little girl who these days, physically turns Santa Claus around in our house so he cannot "see her" when she is being ugly! Not naming any names!

ANd heeeeeere come the Kaufmans!

I mean, do they look fresh or what?!
I told you this was going to be a long post. Just hang in there. It'll be over before you know it! Or not.
Staci sees someone she knows...

It's one of Jake's ICU nurses.
And anytime someone who worked with Jake sees Staci, there is a reunion to be had!Can you see the stadium down there, right in front of that big tall building?! That is the finish line. SO, it was fun for us to be able to say, "You can see the finish line from here!" That jazzed em up and they'd put on their afterburners!
Staci hooked up with Deb, Jake's pharmacist at St. Jude when her friend came by a little earlier and said, "help, Deb! She is struggling." I told Staci, "You KNOW you are going to have to run with her when she comes by here!" So she stretched out her calves, did some deep breathing and got prepared to run her 100 feet.
Go staci, I have the oxygen waiting! Only 15 more feet!
And here's Jenn coming in on the home stretch! gooo, Jenn. thanks for running in memory of my little nephew this year!

Jenn came. and Jenn left. And we remain! More to cheer on!
And then here comes the one who inspired me the most! This is Joey and his daughter. I didn't ask how old she was, but I don't think she could possibly be over 11.
I want to send that little girl a picture of Jake for her to pin to her corkboard to remember who it was for she was running. What a sacrifice. And what a cool thing for such a young girl to do. I am proud of you, Joey, for raising such a fine kid!
And who goes there?! Oh, it's Kim, my PT buddy from my actual graduating class. We have been buds for years!
She and her husband, pictured here, ran this year together.
Again, just kidding! I cannot believe what a dork I was to think he and Lauren were married. I think I am going to have him married off to every single person who I see him in a picture with at this event!

And Cindi, way to go, Girl! I think you are going to be the main reason I train for next year. Other than Jake, naturally. If your pace is really slow, then you and I need to run together. I swear, I feel like I am running in place! My mom was a slow runner, and I must have inherited her speed!
Ok, and now come the 26.2 milers! This is where we stood to cheer them on home. This is mile 25. Can you even imagine!? I mean, think of somewhere 26 miles away and think about running there! It totally blows my mind!And in true Mr. Jerry style... there's a smile on his face, a thumbs up, and he is holding his shirt as if to remind us that he KNOWS for whom and why he is running. What a tribute!!

And here comes my boy, Ron! This is Ron's first rodeo!

I kinda found it ironic that as these people ran by, suffering with every step, my sister was in her Suburban, leaned back, with her "blanky", keeping warm. PITIFUL! I had to take a picture. She was shamed and got out just in time to see our marathoners coming in to the home stretch!
Ok, back to Ron. I watch many, many, many people come by us at this very late hour in the day and very late mile in the race. Some are very obviously suffering!
If Ron was, he did not show it! He was smiling....
quite possibly laughing... at this!
JIn Jin looked a little Al Queida-ish. But look at that cute kid she was holding.
So what more is there to say? It was another FABULOUS year! Absolutely great! We hope to start our fundraising efforts much earlier in the year this year. In fact, we have some really great ideas! I saw where a few of you wanted shirts. Please send me your requests, sizes, and I will ship them to you. My new email is That is where I will field the requests. This was the first year in six years that we weren't in the top five fundraising groups in the country. And I think we missed it by about $3,000! That's sad! I KNOW we can meet that goal next year. I also hope to have a calendar or something book-like which will have many of the pics you have already seen and many that you haven't to remember this year's event. All the proceeds will go toward TEAM JAKE 2011. You know "11"! That's GOT to be a big year! For my Jakipoo!!
Thank you, TEAMJAKErs!!


Sandy said...

OMG I am soo sad now that I could NOT go to Memphis! You guys ROCK!! I am def going to do everything I can to attend next year. I don't know if My fat tail can run but I sure will CHEER!!! Great Pictures MO.

Unknown said...

You guys are awesome!!! Thank you for sharing all the pictures with us. I look forward to this blog every year!!

tricia said...

so inspiring. i cried reading and looking at pics

Renee said...

How awesome! Way to go Team Jake. Maddi's sign is priceless.

Michelle said...

"I paint canvases and eat Reese cups!" I CRACKED UP! Girl! You know you are all that and a bag of chips. And then some. If we could all be half as neat as you are.

Shannon said...

OMG I bawled reading this post. My girlfriend ran the the Jude marathon this year. Her very first real life full-on marathon. She said it was a very emotional experience.
I wanna run, too. I wanna be a runner! It's on my bucket-list of things to do. THIS has inspired me!

Cherry said...

I know two of the girls that you didnt know...they are wearing #6884 and 7053 The one of the left is Kelly Gauthier...she is my principals daughter..she went to Tech and is in school in Shreveport to be a PTA...I think she might have worked in Ruston for a PT....The other one is her cousin Casey..she is a RN at Cabrini in PICU in Alexandria...I bet Kelly heard about ya'll from someone in Ruston....They ran with a lady from Jena that I know also...See you next weekend....Love ya

KimCox said...

Yep Cherry.. Kelly Gauthier is one of my BPCC PTA students! She came with the Team Jake sub-team of Team BPCC!! My students and alumni ROCK... the cute little runners with the water backpacks were my crew too... Meagan Schwenneker (PTA alumni..did 1/2 marathon last year, full this year) and she brought her friend with her to run.

Amanda said...

What a wonderful post!! Thanks so much for sharing all of those pictures. My friend and I signed up for the 2011 St. Jude 1/2 Marathon this coming December...and it's our FIRST 1/2 marathon!!! We wanted it to be St. Jude, Team Jake!
I can't wait till the Shake for Jake event!