I was away the summer of 1996 when the children began running at St. Charles. Imagine my surprise when I returned to find a house full of runners–and I had NEVER run before. My running career began in the fall with 3 miles a day and Tylenol for my complaining muscles. I was not going to let those kids outstrip me! We also began running road races with the kids, and captured the attention of the local press. People liked seeing the sisters in habits running with the kids in their red uniforms.
It was so exciting to me when David Hampson, the CEO of Willis, approached us with a proposal to create our very own road race for St. Charles. Our race would benefit the Home, but it would also celebrate our kids in a special way.
In 2003, I became the coordinator of the St. Charles Children’s Home 5k, and Willis took on more of a fundraising and supportive role in the event. It was exciting becoming the coordinator: it gave me an opportunity to continue to build upon and to grow a race that I knew people really liked. I have been blessed with incredible volunteers whose dedication over the years truly humbles me.
But the race took on a whole new meaning for me when I had to stop running. Most runners find it really difficult when illness or injury forces them to stop their daily runs. I was no exception. I was frustrated because I could not run. But the race kept me going. I could still participate in the running world by providing an event for runners that they could truly enjoy. Every year we get a lot of feedback from people who truly enjoy our race. That feedback inspires me. Each year I am in awe as I watch close to 1000 people line up at the start line to support our Children’s Home and our kids.
I believe our race is something special. Readers, would you like to share your thoughts about the race?