When I arrived, the line to pick up my registration bin and goodie bag was quick and easy. Actually, I was the only one in line (when I arrived) for the pre registered participants and the line was small for day off registrations. Along with a timed event by Russ Zornick , participants received a few edible goodies and some athletic socks with the race’s name on the top of the ankle cuff. This was much more than i was anticipating for an event that cost so little and with the proceeds going to Brief Encounters support group. On top of this, there were goodies galore of typical race-event variety. Bagels of every flavor, cream cheese, oranges and bananas, fresh coffee and cold cold water bottles. It was a hot day! As the day approached 9:00 am, it was already nearing 80 degrees. With the heat as high as it was, my only suggestion would have been to move the race time a bit earlier. Sometimes that is easier said than done when contacting race participants and planning for any road closures and the like, but it was an icky type of hot that drilled into you. One of my friends who came to the event had to drop to a 5K instead of the 10K after completing the 5K loop. It was just too hot to continue.
Before the race itself began, the race organizer spoke briefly before releasing ten white doves into the sky above. She spoke with a beautiful little analogy about releasing the dreams and hope that the bereaved parents had for their child who was with them in their hearts. She spoke truthfully and frankly about the pain. After the doves were released, the children queued up for their 1K run around the park and then the runners for the 10K were soon released after. The next wave was 5K runners and last were the 5K walkers (who were strongly encouraged to have plenty of bottled water with them).
The course passed through some suburban streets and entered onto a beautiful and shady single track trail of packed dirt and some areas of wood chips. For the most part, this course is stroller friendly, but would be quite the workout on some of those inclines. One water station was available that was on an out and back portion of the course.
When we returned, someone was making balloon creations for the kiddos and a patient face painter was there to paint beautiful creations on the faces of kids and adults alike.
My family enjoyed being at the family focused event and it is a tradition we will look forward to supporting.
If you have further questions or know of someone who could use this support group, Brief Encounters Support Group (Established in 1992 by a group of parents) is a non-profit, non-sectarian support group for parents whose babies have died before, during, or after birth. “At informal, mutually supportive meetings, bereaved parents and their families share stories, discuss issues that arise from pregnancy and infant loss, and remember their children. Through talking, or just listening, learn what grief is and how, through understanding and caring, to heal. For more information, please call 503-699-8006, or check the web: www.briefencounters.org.”