Race Report ~ The Honey Badger Playground Dash 2012

One way that we show people we love them is by taking interest in the things that they are passionate about.  Even if it’s not something we totally “get” – we show our support by encouraging them to make the time for the things that they love, by doing it with them if and when we can (even though there are quite possibly a million other things we might rather be doing), by carving out time in our busy life and making sacrifices to ensure that they are able to engage in the activity they enjoy.  We do this because of our love – because we truly want the ones we love to be happy.  Because that matters to us.  Because they matter to us.

My kids see my husband and I doing this for one another all the time, and they especially see this with regards to my running.  The support my family gives me so that I can run is overwhelming to me at times.  I can’t say it enough – I am beyond grateful.

A few weeks ago I came home from one of my early morning runs and was greeted at the door by my daughter Abby.  She was excited – she had an idea she couldn’t wait to share with me.  Abby was going to put a race together for me and my running buddies (also known as “the honey badgers”).  If you know me and you know the line of women both my husband and I come from, you understand that Abby comes by this type of thing very honestly.  We are all very into organization and we like parties.  It is just who we are.  Abby did not want to waste a second and was ready to roll up her sleeves and start figuring out the details right away.  I stood in the kitchen sweaty and spent from my run, but with a full heart as I watched my little girl pull out the calendar, some paper and some markers.  We chose a date and a time and she made a flyer that I could distribute to my running friends.

The “Honey Badger Playground Dash” was in the works.  Set for May 20th at 11am, the race would start at our house and finish at Abby’s elementary school less than a quarter of a mile away.

the flyer

Abby was VERY into it – the best race director I have ever known.  She thought through all of the details and could not have been more excited when race day arrived.  We had a pretty good turn out – about half the honey badgers and their families, plus me and my family.

Abby at the Start

I was especially excited that my sister Jodi was able to come to the race.  This was her first race post surgery (she had ACL surgery not quite 3 weeks ago) and we were all so thankful and happy to share the experience with her.  Race day excitement was in the air and everyone was ready to do their best on the challenging course.

Before the race began, Will led a group in some stretches…

This looks extremely painful to me.  Chris was a good sport!

And then everyone lined up on the start line for a picture:

After the picture was taken, Robert walked to the finish with Abby and her best friend/co-director Kaitlin (my buddy Chris’s daughter) so they would be ready for the post-race festivities when the runners arrived.  A few minutes later, I received a phone call from Robert that it was time for the runners to go.  I couldn’t believe how quickly the lead runners shot out onto the course.  It was lightening speed.  I pushed Baby Gus in the stroller and hung in the back of the pack with my sister Jodi, Terri and Lisa.

The course went from my street onto the trail which was hilly and twisty.  There were chalk arrows showing us where to go and we were surprised to see some obstacles along the way.  At one point we were instructed to stop and DO A DANCE and then a few yards later we had to JUMP.  My favorite was about halfway through the course when we were read SHAKE YOUR BOOTY.

We came out of the woods and off the trail and it was a straight shot to the SVES playground – the site of the finish line.  Word on the street was that it was a close finish and that all the runners did their best and had a GREAT time.  The shining moment for me was watching my sister come across the Finish.  No crutches.  Just a huge smile and lots of cheering!

The post race festivities were unmatched.  A goody bag for each runner with a Picky Bar and a Blow Pop (what more does a runner need?!?) and plenty of nuun to quench everyone’s thirst.

It was the BEST race I have ever run.  The distance was perfect – not too short or too long.  It was easy to get to and there was plenty of parking.  It wasn’t too crowded.  It was a race my whole family, and runners of all levels, could experience and enjoy.  The entry fee was free and you can’t beat that.

I will DEFINITELY run the Honey Badger Playground Dash again.  Next year I hope to run with Gus by my side rather than pushing him in the stroller, but I’m happy to know that this is a stroller-friendly race just in case he’s not ready for that.

The race director did an incredible job!  I am so proud of Abby, and so thankful for her for more reasons than I can possibly list!

It was an event I will never forget.  I don’t think Abby can understand yet how much her doing this meant to me.  She is so caring and sweet and loving.  THAT SMILE on her face — it says it all.  When I see that smile my heart flips and it flops and it feels like it will burst – and I just want to cry because I feel so happy.  Because I feel like I am surely the luckiest mom in the world.

14 thoughts on “Race Report ~ The Honey Badger Playground Dash 2012

  1. i LOVE this post Jess!!! So wonderful, all the way around. Tell Abby she did a GREAT GREAT job! Hugs!!! (And it is great to see your sister up and smiling!) 🙂

  2. This is the cutest and most precious thing I have ever seen. Your daughter is adorable and SO organized! I sense a promising race director career in her future (Maybe NYRR and the NYC Marathon like Mary Wittenburg!?!?)

  3. This might be my favorite post of yours ever! I wish my kids and I could do this race with all of you. Your daughter makes an excellent race director for the next generation (though that stretch makes my back hurt–I might sit that part out myself…:^) ).

    Hope you had a relaxing Memorial Day!

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