‘Runners’ Inspiration’: This One’s for You, Mom!

Memory Back Bib from Races 2 Remember

I never in one hundred million years thought my Mom would not be here to run the Cap City Quarter Marathon yesterday – the race she had been training for all winter and spring. I never thought I would be running the Quarter this weekend, with Pittsburgh’s 26.2 next weekend. I ran yesterday’s race in memory of my Mother.

It was a good day – the goal race for my Pace Group, the Lucky 13’s – there was no way it couldn’t be! I am so proud of them and what they accomplished yesterday – crossing the finish line after 13.1 miles. Five long, hard, cold, wet months of training later. Congratulations! My Mom trained with us from time to time – always a smiling face on the trails – many of the 13’s ran in her memory:

Darlene’s Angels before the race.

It was also my sister Mollie’s first half marathon.

My heart breaks for my sister that Mom was not there to cheer her across the finish line. My Mom was our biggest cheerleader. I know she would be proud.

All of us ran as part of Team Darlene’s Angels.

I know my Mom was there – looking out for us on the course, running by our sides. Many people – some of them complete strangers to me – told me they were running for her yesterday. After the race, many others said her Spirit pushed them through the rough patches. They ran for someone who could not run anymore.

My Mom’s running friend Julie wore her bib during the race. They had planned to run together:

Helping Julie get ready with my Mom’s Bib.

They would have finished in 1 hour and 10 minutes. My Mom would have been filled with excitement and pride. There would have been a celebration!! In fact, she may just have finished ahead of me, who came in at 1 hour and 39 minutes. But, she wouldn’t have said a thing – she would have been glad that she finished first could come back to the chute and cheer me on!

I was strong, I ran like hell to the halfway point of my race and waited for as many Lucky 13’s as I could see to cheer them on to the half. I saw many of them and screamed wildly. Here we are in the starting corral:

Ready to run.

I got my medal, grabbed a snack, water and high-tailed it with my dad back to the finish line to watch my sister come in. She did:

Mollie’s Big Finish!

We met up with Julie who told us Mom got her through Mile 5, when it hurt the most. She sent a kiss to the Heavens as she crossed the line and said, “This is for you, my friend.” (With their rock star pace I missed her finishing).

Me, Julie and Mollie with our medals

They presented me, my sister and my Dad with a medal for my Mother. That’s when I started to cry – I think everyone did:

It was a beautiful day for all of us. But, my Mom should have been there to run. After everyone left, I waited at the Finish Line for about an hour – until the last runner came though. I really believed if I waited long enough, my Mom would cross the Finish Line. I can’t tell you how many times I thought I saw her running towards me. I think I was certain I would sit there until my mom crossed the Finish Line. She never came. It hurts a lot today and I don’t quite know what to make of it. My heart is so broken, but I am so happy for Mollie and the Lucky 13’s. It is a weird mix of emotions.

Congratulations MIT LUCKY 13’s!!!!

Jeff Hogan with Channel 10 TV news did a story for the evening news about me, my sister and my Mom and how running brought us even closer together:

Jeff interviewing me and Mollie

 

Me, Jeff and Mollie

I can’t thank him enough for sharing her story with Central Ohio. If this clip gets just one person off the couch and inspires him or her to change his or her life, my Mom will be satisfied. I hope it does. She is why I will keep running:

Happy Mother’s Day,

Comments

  1. I’ve thought about you a lot this weekend. Offering my prayers of comfort to you…I’m glad to hear the race went well and you are so right…your mom was there with you every step of the way!

  2. Love you, Sara! That was beautiful! We were all so proud to be Darlene’s Angels yesterday.

  3. I love you Sara! I’m sorry I missed you at the end – I probably came through while you were getting food, since I cheated and only did the quarter.

    I had several people ask me about my Darlene bib. It was such an honor to wear it.

    You and your family are often in my thoughts. HUGS!

  4. Congrats on the finish!! So sorry about your mom. You had a great way of remembering her on race day.

  5. Sara –

    Thinking of you so much – I got choked up reading this – thank you for sharing it.

  6. Thinking of you… what a great tribute to your Mom.

  7. You and your sister are amazing. Way to honor your mother..

  8. Sara, so sorry to hear about your mom’s passing. I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow in Pittsburgh. So glad we were able to make those back bibs in your mom’s memory. Hope your Grace Bands help get you through a first (of many?). We’ll be cheering you on from a distance!!

    Molly from Races2Remember

  9. Sara, so sorry to hear about your mom’s passing. I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow in Pittsburgh. So glad we were able to make those back bibs in your mom’s memory. Hope your Grace Bands help get you through a first (of many?). We’ll be cheering you on from a distance!!

    Molly from Races2Remember

  10. Congrats on the finish!! So sorry about your mom. You had a great way of remembering her on race day.

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