A non-profit run for babies with CDH is enough for me, but this run is so much more. With live music, lots of vendor booths and smiling faces all over, the Ladybug Run was a perfect way to spend a Saturday morning. It’s for a very serious cause, but the ladybug theme brings some whimsy with wings and polka dots all over the place. I got there early to pick up my packet on race morning and there was a decent line ahead of me, but the volunteers hustled through us as quickly as possible. Music and an emcee made it go by a little faster. There were reminders everywhere as to why we were running. Race Director, Liz Dooley, shared her story and why she started this run. There were pictures of babies born with CDH lining a path near packet pick up and the group prayer really pulled at our heartstrings.
The 10k and 5k runners lined up together at the start and after one more short prayer, the gun went off. Taking advantage of the trails through Cook Park, we headed along a paved path, which is always a treat. I love the beauty of the forest and my klutzy body appreciates the convenience of pavement. The course is mostly flat, with the exception of one hill. It’s a short hill, but fairly steep as you come out of the park and into the suburbs of Tigard. Running that hill once was enough for me, so I crossed my fingers that the course wasn’t a double loop for the 10k participants.
We had a quick jog through the neighborhood, past Tigard High School and back into Cook Park, where the 5k runners finished and the 10k runners headed towards the river for a separate loop. Relieved I wouldn’t see that short, steep hill again, we weaved along forest paths next to the river. There was a short section of dirt trails before connecting again with the paved section. Running out towards the Tualatin River, we ran by the dog park in Tualatin, over the bridge a couple of times and underneath some railroad tracks. There were fun sights the whole run and volunteers lined the course from start to finish.
The announcer congratulated runners as they crossed the finish line and it’s always fun to hear them try and pronounce my last name. It’s also fun to meet new people at events. I had a guy thank me for pacing him along the run. Had I known that was the case, I probably would have run a little bit faster, but it was still fun to chat afterwards. Chocolate milk, waffles and beer were waiting for us at the after-party along with the live band. This run is truly a special event. I love that all of the proceeds go to the Ladybug CDH Foundation and that the participants know this is more than a fun run. I’m excited that the word is getting out that this is the event to do. A well-organized run with so much heart and a great excuse to dress up with friends or make some new ones, the LadyBug Run continues to impress me.