Two Firsts, a 2nd, and a Big Check!

What a weekend and past few days it has been…

I’ll start with Saturday.  It was the end of the STRIDE season for us.  It ended with the OrthoWilmington 5k for our STRIDE team that I help coach with my wife, Kelli.  10 weeks and 20 practices have gone by since we started this journey with 20 amazing boys in grades 3-5.  Some of them started with little or no running experience at all.  Saturday the majority of them completed their first 5k of their lives, completing a journey that brought joy, tears and lots of sweat.  They did an amazing job completing the race and meeting their goals.  Times didn’t matter this day, it was all about the journey and completing the race.  Statman had never run a race before, other than a 1 miler here and there.  His last 1 mile race was in March, where he pulled out a 6:21.  During the season leading up to this 5k, Statman showed signs of speed and distance, leading us to have no clue what he would do for this race.  We started out at a slow pace, as he was instructed.  During the season, we continuously reminded the kids to “pace themselves”.   Statman did.  Close to a 10 minute pace for mile 1.  He then cranked it up.  We hammered mile 2 and most of mile 3 at about an 8 minute pace.  We hit the final turn to finish the .1, and Statman had nothing left.   27:34 was his time.   What a great run.  He gave it his all and felt very proud of his race.   And he should.  What a great race, and I’m so very proud of him for his effort.  Great work booboo!

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Statman finishing his first 5k (STRIDE boys started 2 minutes later than clock time). What a great first 5k time of 27 + minutes.

Then a few hours later on Saturday afternoon, we had our last soccer game of the season for Bookworm. This was his first year playing soccer.  He was very excited to play when the season started, although he had never played before.  He played in the field for the 1st half of the first game of the season.  He was then placed in goal.   He remained there for the balance of the season.  He had never played soccer before, better yet goalie.  He did an amazing job at goal.  He made some amazing stops.  He had to, his team was outshot about every game 40-5.  He didn’t stop them all, but he did stop a lot of them.  He gave his all to the position and to every game.   Frustrations and tears game, but he overcame and finished strong.   The last game of the season his team won 4-1.  A great performance by him, and they ended on a high note.  He hasn’t decided if he will play soccer again, but I will support whatever he wants to do. He handled the ups and downs with such class and character.   Great job buddy!

Bookworm kicking it out of goal...what a Great Goalie he has been in his first year of soccer.

Bookworm kicking it out of goal…what a Great Goalie he has been in his first year of soccer..

Sunday morning came way to soon (4:00 am alarm clock call), as Kelli and I got her stuff together and headed out to Carolina Beach for her first sprint triathlon.  This was a double sprint, with a swim, run, bike, run and swim again.  She had never done a sprint before, and only 1 other triathlon to date (1/2 Iron distance triathlon), so she was quite nervous.   She had never really swam 2 years ago.  She could enjoy the water, but to define her swimming as with true form, she would argue there was none.   But today, she can swim.  And she can swim well.   She ran into the ocean and completed her first leg of the triathlon with ease.   Well, she made it look easy, whether it actually was or not.  1:27:54 later, she finished her first sprint triathlon.   She finished 1st in her division (Masters Novice Female), and would have placed in other divisions as well.  She overcame some fears and just built confidence in preparation for her EPIC IM in November.  She will rock it just like she has any other challenge that she has taken on.   She is amazing, and I’m so very proud of her for her dedication and work ethic.  Great job babe!!

First on the podium for Masters Novice Female.  Excellent job babe!!

First on the podium for Masters Novice Female. Excellent job babe!!

And today, this morning, at 8:30am, was the topping to the cake.  My wife, the amazing leader and coach there is, presented the coaches of the UNC-Wilmington Track and Field and Cross Country teams, with a check for $7,800, as a donation to help support the UNCW TFCC team and keep them competing.   See, a few months ago, the University decided it was going to cut these programs due to “funding and Title IX” issues.  Not sure what the true motivation was, but this was not acceptable.   A campaign was started by the University team and the public to raise money.  The requirements were set: 1) Raise $250,000 by May 31 to allow the team to compete in 2015-2016; and 2) raise another $800,000 in order to renovate the existing facility and upgrade.   Challenge accepted.   The public went out and began collecting donations and pledges to keep this program from being eliminated.   My wife, being such a lover of running and supporter of everything running, had a  little idea for the Bellamy Elementary Stride boys’ community service project: HELP UNCW SAVE THEIR RUNNING PROGRAMS. With the help of so many people and the support of the school, PTA, teachers, kids, and their parents, this idea grew, and the Bellamy student body were all invited to participate. Two weeks ago at the school, we had a running event to collect donations and pledges. The UNCW coaches and athletes came out to help support the kids, and it was a successful event.  We never knew how much we could raise, and had in our minds maybe $1500-$2000 could be raised.  None of use expected what did happen.  So, this morning, at about 8:40 am, we were able to meet the coaches, and in the presence of the entire Bellamy student body, my wife presented them with a check for $7,800.  Truly amazing!!   She is such a leader, motivator and an all around amazing person.  The University still has a ways to go to meet their immediate goal, and we think they will make it, and today provided that hope that it will and all will be right, at least for now.    

UNCW Coaches with Coach Kelli and myself and their donation check.

UNCW Coaches with Coach Kelli and myself and their donation check.

Members of UNCW Track & Field and Cross Country team, their coach and Kelli and I after the fundraiser run

Members of UNCW Track & Field and Cross Country team, their coach and Kelli and I after the fundraiser run

What did you do this weekend?  What are you planning to do?   If you care to help with this effort, message me for more info.  Lots of big happenings in the next few weeks for us, but for today, we are going to take a rest and enjoy the great day it has been.   

 

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