I had no plans of running the third MudStash this year. Not that I didn’t want to, I just hadn’t made plans to run it with anyone, and I hadn’t signed up to run it. Knowing that my friend Kathy has been going through a tough time with her husband deployed, I thought it would be fun to meet her down in Lawrenceburg and join her for the last MudStash of the season!
She let me know that she would be running with her daughter and soon to be daughter-in-law — this would be their first OCR ever! I think this was just as exciting to me as getting to run with Kathy!! I get such a kick out watching people experience their first OCR and thrive off of their excitement. Kathy also let me know that they would be going very slow, and if at any time I wanted to run ahead, she would understand — clearly she did not understand my intent was to run WITH her and stay WITH her the entire time!
As race day drew close, I said it was too bad we didn’t have a cardboard cutout of her hubby so we could take it with us. Kathy loved the idea, but being as last minute as it was, she was able to get an 8×10 picture of Michael and she laminated it!! It was perfect!
Gio met us at the venue, and even though he was not medically cleared to run, he couldn’t resist the opportunity to join us out on the course. So at 12:15, we all took off as the canon sounded…me, Gio, Kathy, Amanda and Casey! Gio and I both brought waterproof cameras and started shooting away. We would run ahead and then capture the Bacon family making their way through mud and up hills.
Gio and I were acting like silly fools challenging each other sprinting up the hills and flinging ourselves at the obstacles…then we would do what we could to encourage, help and photograph Team Baconator as they attacked the course with very impressive determination. Watching their faces light up and big grins on their faces as they tackled each obstacle before them. Now, I always have a big silly grin on my face during OCR’s, but that smile was just a little wider as I completed the Monkey Bars (it is an obstacle that I have often fought with, and was happy when I got all the way across!!)
I think the coolest part for me was watching Kathy transition from someone that used to rely on help from others to the person that was offering the help and encouragement. She emerged from this course as a much stronger woman — and it wasn’t a physical strength (because she is already one tough woman who is consistently working very hard to get stronger every day) — it was as if it finally dawned on her the strength that she actually possesses (mental and physical).
We were not going for time, but we were enjoying every bit of that course. We laughed, we cried, we cheered, we were silly, we were serious, we were crazy…..WE HAD FUN!! There was nothing better than watching as Kathy, Amanda and Casey crossed the finish line together with the picture of Michael in hand — he should be very proud of his girls!!
As I drove home, I received a message from Kathy. She relayed something that Amanda had said to her: “Heather is crazy, but Gio is Insane” — LOL!! I will take that as a compliment! Gio and I both agreed that was probably the most FUN we had ever had on race course!
Final Tally….I took 250 pics, Gio took over 400 pics, and Kathy took @25 pics….I would say their first OCR is well documented!
I was the last person to cross the finish line, and I gotta say on this day, it felt better than first!