Friday morning, 6:30 a.m. Kelsey and I began the 5k. Friday morning, 6:31 a.m. Kelsey ran off without me. It was fun to see so many people running dressed up, especially Cinderella. You couldn’t help but think she was late and in big trouble. It was also kind of cool to see Lee at the finish line taking pictures; a bit of a role reversal. After saying goodbye to Minnie & Mickey, we headed out to Universal Studios so we could check out Hogwarts and we had a blast. Dave and his wife, Linette, went with us – worked out nice as Dave & Lee don’t do well on the rides but we three girls sure did. At the end of the night, we convinced Lee & Dave the Hogwarts ride wasn’t too bad, they would be ok. ”C’mon, let’s end the night on a fun ride!” Big mistake. After the ride was over, Lee looked like someone had poured a bucket of water over him as he beelined for the men’s room. Dave managed to smile, but it took him well after midnight to finally fall asleep without having the room spin. Paul was back at the condo, trying to persuade his body he wasn’t catching a cold.
Saturday morning, the guys took off at 3:30 a.m. but feeling pretty good (thank goodness!). By this time, Paul’s wife, Karen, and his youngest daughter, Kiersten, arrived so we took off to the finish line to greet our half marathon heroes. Pretty soon, we see Dave crossing the finish line. What? Dave? He usually finishes after Lee & Paul. He was thrilled! Fifteen minutes later, here trot Lee & Paul grinning from ear to ear. They decided to enjoy the journey and stopped to have their picture taken with EVERY Disney character along the run, and there were several! They still thought Dave was behind them. Perfect day, perfect weather (82 degrees and clear skies versus the -2 degrees in Salt Lake City with 18 inches of new snow).
Sunday morning, same Bat time, same Bat corral. Only difference is our Wacky family support team didn’t have to show up until 10:30 a.m. instead of 7:30 a.m. A few more of Paul’s family came in so our team jumped up to 10, all in our Wacky shirts (which looked amazing, I must say). We all scrunched in one van to drive over. On the way, Paul’s son, Derrick (around Nick’s age), and Paul’s daughter, Kiersten (same age as Kelsey), teased and laughed the entire ride over, with Karen unsuccessfully intervening to keep the noise level in check. I smiled as I looked back at Kelsey, who was also smiling. As we walked together, she said, “Mom, it was just like what Nick, Carly and I would do!” I asked her if it made her miss Nick and she said, “Yes, ahhhh – good times!”
Then we waited. And waited. And waited. In between texts, we knew Dave was ahead of Lee & Paul by about 3 miles. He was going to wait for them at mile 26 so they could all run through the finish line together. We could actually see Dave up ahead waiting. FORTY FIVE minutes we waited! Karen and I were wondering how many pictures could they be possibly taking! Then we saw them… walking. Uh oh. But soon they jogged a little bit and when they reached us, they stopped to take OUR picture – so fun! THEY DID IT! I blinked back tears, I was so proud of all of them – they’ve worked so, so hard to prepare for these two days – 39.3 miles! And they did it for Nick, for Wacky Warriors and all the kids fighting cancer. They did it. What a huge accomplishment!
Then we noticed Lee’s bleeding knee and bandaged arm. ”I suppose there is a story there somewhere?” I asked. Lee responded, “A tiger attacked me…” Linette said, “Tiger as in TIGGER?” Yep. I’m still a little sketchy on the details but around mile 20, there was something about a podium for pictures, a shoestring caught, face plant… Oh boy… It just wouldn’t be a complete adventure without a trip to the hospital. But not now – Lee had a flight to catch to Chicago (he is there for the week) while myself, Kelsey and a few of Paul’s clan flew back to Salt Lake City that afternoon. Being supportive, I said, ‘Well, you haven’t had the opportunity to check out Chicago’s hospitals yet…” (FYI – just confirmed his arm is broken – he is officially and 100% my true Wacky Warrior!)
There has been a tremendous amount of support for these three crazy guys! Donations are still coming in! I hope to tally up everything by end of next week, as well as getting out our thank you letters! Dave will also add all the pictures (he is much more clever than I) when he returns later this week. However, our favorite picture is below. You may remember that Nick dressed as Buzz Lightyear when he participated in the Ogden Marathon back in 2010 so we will always have a soft spot for this particular super hero with powers “…to infinity and beyond!” Nick’s birthday is Thursday, January 17th – he would’ve been 24. Tomorrow I’m going to visit him to take down the Christmas decorations and replace with birthday balloons. I know he is so proud of Lee, Paul & Dave for representing him and Wacky Warriors, just as I am.
Nick, as Buzz Lightyear,
at the 2010 Ogden Marathon