Each year, on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, Wichita has its annual Turkey Trot run. There is a 10-mile race, and there is a 2-mile race.
Back up to November, 2002 -- the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
I ran in the 10-mile race for the second time (this was back when I was in better shape and weighed about 20-25 pounds less). Marc also ran this 10-mile race. We didn't know each other yet.
Several months later (February 22, 2003 -- to be exact), I met Marc on a blind date....
On that blind date, Marc and I most definitely talked a lot about running....he was running then and obviously is still running....I obviously was running at that time as well.
We figured out that we were both at the Turkey Trot race just a few months before. Because of the way the 10-mile race is set up, we most likely would've seen each other.
I frequently like to remind Marc that if he would've asked me out that day of the race in 2002, we could've had a head start on our wonderful relationship :)
But, I digress....
Anyways, the Turkey Trot race is one of our favorite fall races. It's kind of a tradition in this household. Last year, however, we weren't able to go. Marc was recoving from foot surgery. Luke was pretty little.
So, this year, it was actually Luke's first Turkey Trot race.
Marc once again ran the 10-mile race, and I walked the 2-mile race with Luke in the stroller.
Here goes our Saturday morning -- this past Saturday.
After arriving, Luke had to explore the parking lot, of course.
After the "exploration time," we ventured around the area for a bit -- this has gotten to be quite a large race for Wichita. This year, there were around 1,500 participants.
The Turkey Trot is a big "sponsor" of the Kansas Food Bank. Each participant is encouraged to bring a jar of peanut butter to donate. So first, we dropped off our donated peanut butter.
I truly believe that one reason Marc enjoys this race sooooo much is because after the race, there are complimentary turkey bratwursts. Yes, they're quite tasty. So, before the race, the turkey bratwursts were already cooking.
After seeing all of the "festivities," Marc and I took a warm-up walk. This is how Luke presented himself in the stroller at this point in time. For those of you who know Luke well, it shouldn't surprise you that he had his blanket with his thumb in his mouth.
As you can see, quite a few runners/walkers warm-up on the bike path in Wichita before the race (for you locals -- this race starts and ends at the Cowtown Museum).
The 10-mile and the 2-mile races actually start at the same time, but they start in different locations (in the same area). So, Marc went to the 10-mile start, and Luke and I ventured to the 2-mile start.
The 2-mile race is the larger -- as far as participants. Here's a photo of everybody lining up. There aren't too many strollers in this race, and so, to avoid getting in the way of everybody, we hung out toward the back for the start of the race.
I'm a fairly fast walker (at least in my opinion), so once the race started, I had to maneuver the stroller through some slower walkers to get ahead. I must say that I did that gracefully, and I did NOT run over anybody with the big jogging stroller wheels.
So, here are a couple of shots from during the race.
Luke's usually a real "trooper" for me in the jogging stroller. However, during the first mile of this race, he really was not a trooper. He whined a bit; required some crackers (which thankfully I had along); and absolutely did not want to have a hood on his head.
During the second mile, however, he settled down. Then, he was his normal self -- for the jogging stroller, anyways. By then, here's what I looked down at....
I can honestly say that one of my top 10 things that I like to do in life right now is walk with Luke in this stroller :) It's sooooo nice to be outside with him.
We did finally approach the finish line.
Two wonderful things happened just at the finish line....
1) Quite a few spectators were clapping and cheering for the runners/walkers. Luke noticed everybody clapping, and so, he decided to clap as well. So, as we were crossing the finish line, he was clapping for himself. It was VERY cute. Some woman (spectator) said loudly, "Oh, look at that little boy. He's clapping for himself."
2) Also, as we were crossing the finish line, a man (whom I didn't know) yelled out at me, "Good Job, Mom." That one little sentence of encouragement meant so much to me because it shouted out exactly part of my identity -- a MOM!!!!! I just felt (and still do feel) so honored that God has made me Luke's mom!
After finishing, we talked with some people we know. Then, we headed back to the finish line to watch the 10-mile runners come in.
After not too much of a wait, I noticed Marc running in. Unfortunately, this is the best I was able to with a photo....I know it's small and hard to see, but Marc is actually the third runner in this photo. You'll just have to trust me on this one.
It was rather difficult keeping a 16-month old off of the running course AND try to snap a decent photo at the same time.
Oh well -- someday, Luke will be older and will understand why he has to stay off of the course.
After finishing our wonderful turkey bratwursts, the wind actually picked up a bit which was rather chilly on our sweaty bodies. Luke was also starting to get a bit "out of control." So, we decided we should probably head home.
The excitement of the morning was too much for Luke. He did stay awake for most of the trip home, but during the last 10 minutes or so, he fell asleep.
Many times, short little catnaps like this one ruin Luke's afternoon nap. Fortunately, this one did not. He did also nap after we got home and had lunch.
**As a final side note to this already long post -- Luke actually has had a cold now for several days. This colder weather during this race probably, in all seriousness, didn't really help him out. He coughed quite a bit the rest of the day and into the night. Needless to say, we weren't able to make it to church the next day because of Luke's cough.
He is on the upswing with this cold....I tell you what -- illness has been a part of this family now for the last several weeks. Hopefully, we're about done with it!!!!!
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