I’ve been wanting to check out a particular running group for a while now but could never seem to get my schedule to sync up with them… until this weekend. The group is Wear Blue: Run to Remember. The head of the local chapter came into the running store one day and told us about the group. I did a little bit of internet
stalking research after he left. The story about the co-founder is amazing, heartbreaking, and inspiring.
“Since her husband, Army Capt. John Hallett, was killed in Afghanistan in 2009, she’s fought through grief to raise their three young children, including a daughter John never met. She’s built a new life and co-founded a national organization that helps others cope with the loss of loved ones in military service.”
You can read her story here.
There are so many amazing charities and groups out there to run for these days. I don’t know why this one affected me the way it did. I don’t personally know anyone who was killed in action but this group has called to me since I first heard we had a local chapter.
But for whatever reason, running with a new group always makes me feel nervous and intimidated. I joined my See Mommy Run group’s message board 6 months before I finally got the courage to actually go out and run with them. It was the same with this one. It wasn’t until this weekend that we were free and I was ready to step out of my comfort zone and join the group. And I’m so glad I did!
The group was small Saturday morning because of the frigid temperature. We met at the trail head and before every run, they hand out slips of paper with names of people killed in action. Names of people who sacrificed their lives for all of us. There was a moment of silence and then we went around the circle and read the names on our slip of paper. I didn’t recognize any of the four names on my paper. But I knew each of these people were someone’s son or daughter. Someone’s friend. Someone’s sister/brother. Maybe they were someone’s mother/father. All these people were loved. And missed. They were people who loved our country enough to give it everything they had. And while the networks are diligently reporting on what Kim Kardashian ate for lunch, these heros slip by unnoticed. It felt good to remember and honor them, even if it was just in this small way.
After the names were read, we headed off to the trail for our run. I felt completely welcomed to the group and fell into pace with another woman training for some back to back spring marathons. Hard core. While most of the group did 3 miles, we decided to do 7. We were already all bundled up and finally thawed out, might as well take advantage of the trails and company. As we got further into the run, although it was cold, it turned out to be a perfect sunny day. She told me she is active army and I got to hear about the races all over the world she was doing. The places she’d lived, the deployments she had gone on. It was fascinating and the miles flew by. We got back to the cars and found the group leaders waiting for us. I didn’t realize they were planning to wait and felt guilty we ran longer. They didn’t seem to mind though and wanted to get a picture of the two of us.
After that, the four of us headed to Starbucks to warm up over some hot coffee.
I can’t make it out every weekend, but will definitely meet up with them as often as I can. I’m planning to volunteer this spring at some of their events. They have chapters all over the country. If you have a chance to participate in a run with any of these groups, do it! You won’t be sorry.