Sunday, February 23, 2014

Valentines - Hearts 'r' Running 5k "Celebrating Active Loving Hearts" Recap in Photos & Stories

The 6th Annual Valentines - Hearts 'r' Running 5k "Celebrating Active Loving Hearts" produced by Charities Challenge at Como Lake, St Paul, MN on Saturday, February 15, 2014, did reveal lots and lots of active loving hearts, "Miles of Smiles", many fast-fun-friends, happy families, and athletes of wide ranging ages and abilities. Love it!

Photos slideshow and video available from event web page here

(NOTE: CC's next Holiday Run is Sunday, March 16, back at Como Lake - St Patrick's Irish Traditions 5k - Celebrating Friendship-Love-Loyalty )

The start line was an occasion to follow the announcer's invitation to "hug somebody you love before by we start".

More hugs were seen after the finish line. Love it!
Running Club MNRED (RED=Running, Eating, Drinking) delivered many of their happy team members to the event.

Coach Ron Byland, founder/leader of MNRED, made a handsome appearance with very encouraging words in the Valentines 5k video produced by CC's pro-videographer, Paul Sanft.

CC's events are always warmer when "frequent flyers" (regular runners and great friends) run our Holiday Run Series. Here's a photo including Ivan and Julie Silverman, and Mike Jamison (in orange "Runners for Recovery" team shirt). Imagine! Mr Jamison is running well beyond his challenges with a heart pace maker. Go MikeMan!

John Wacker, running again the entire CC Holiday Run Series, always has this backward "wacky"  salute when he sees my Canon camera. I learned from John that his unusual salute is his daughter's sorority salute, and he sends all these photos to her as his encouragement to her. Go Mr Wacker!
Sarah Montaigne whose sign reads, "My Heart is Running for my dad, Paul". Well done daughter and dad! Here's another noteworthy example of how kids of all ages can encourage their parents' RxExercise. Brilliant!

Top three men finishers getting Valentines Hershey's Kisses from CCREW volunteer Jackie.

Top three women finishers getting Valentines Hershey's Kisses from CCREW volunteer and coach, Kyle Clark.
CCREW volunteer US Army Colonel Retired, Neil Hetherington congratulating US Army Sergeant Major Retired, Renee Hickerson, on another fast CC 5k

Paul Montaigne, also running again the entire CC Holiday Run Series of 12x running events, celebrating his well-earned heart health beyond bypass surgery and lifetime of improved diabetes management because of his RxExercise. Go Paul! Your daughter, Sarah, is an inspiration to many of us dads who vicariously glow in the active love of a daughter. Go Sarah!
Mike Jamison, co-founder and leader of Runners for Recovery run club is the inspiration for CC's Challenge Addiction 5k that we produce every August. Mike is an inspiration and encouragement to me and Charities Challenge of how we can enjoy long-term recovery from a variety of addictions with the help of our running and walking together. Thanks, Mike!
Thanks, Rachel Pexa, for dancing with this ol' coach, roaming announcer, and finish line photographer! "You make me feel so young"! As I regularly announce to all: "Dance while you have the chance".

And, here is our senior participant of the Valentines - Hearts 'r' Running 5k, Della Soderbeck, F75. (Note: Tomorrow, Feb 24, Della turns age 76. Happy Birthday Della!) In this photo, she's holding a photo of herself when she was more than 100 lbs heavier than now. She wrote these inspiring words to me following the event:
"Thanks Gary! You run a great race program. Walking/running has been my lifesaver, literally! Della Soderbeck"
Well done, Della! Walking and running continues to improve and save so many of our lives. Thanks for your winsome example.