It was about 30 years ago that I ran my first Terry Fox Run. I remember running with my family and stopping to eat an apple under a tree, but that's about it. At the time, all the kids at my daycare were fascinated by Terry and would practice running like him. Even so soon after his death, he was an inspiration to me and many others.
It seemed only fitting that Abner should participate in her first Terry Fox Run at about the same age. So, early yesterday morning, we bundled up for the chilly weather and set out to join our local run (just the two of us, since TDSH was out of town.)
Being the first people through the door had its perks! Abner was first in line to get her face painted and the ladies at the registration table gave her a stuffed moose for being the first child of the day to register.
Abner was also able to enjoy a few minutes to herself in the bouncy castle before the run while mommy gratefully sipped some Timmy's.
Abner loved joining along for the warm-up and had lots of people smiling as she stretched and jumped along with the rest of us. As much as she loved the exercises, I think she got more of a warm-up running away from all the big mascots that were circulating around. Poor little thing was terrified of all of them and would run behind my legs or just plain run away whenever one came close to us.
There were tears a plenty when the crowd did the balloon release before the run- tears of emotion for most, and tears over a lost balloon for Abner.
Of the 5 km route, I think Abner ran about 1.5 km! The little girl has got energy and had me running just to keep up with her. For part of the way, a 12-year-old boy decided to run with her and even he was having trouble keeping up! She thought it was great and would call for him to "come on, come on, let's go, let's go!" whenever he would slow down for a rest.
I'm not sure if we'll make it an annual tradition, but I'm sure this won't be our last Terry Fox Run and I know Abner will remember this first one for many years to come.