The Awesome 3000 is a city wide race for kids that raises money for grants that Salem-Keizer educators can apply for. When it started there were 380 some participants. This year there were 2960!! We had two strong runners from our family compete, as well as many friends from church and school. It's a fun event with many high school students volunteering to warm up the kids and run along side them during the race. Grandpa Davis and Grandma Linda came to cheer on the kids and help keep the ones not running entertained!
Josiah ran very well and finished in the top 10 along with his good friend Boston. Just like last year, he really looked like he was having fun, which is the best part of the whole thing!
Mia started running her race with dad but then left him in the dust part way through. He says he wanted her to have the satisfaction of finishing by herself. He walked in. She declared herself the winner.
Sierra enjoyed riding on Grandpa's neck and playing with rocks during the races, but afterwards she ran all the way home, even up derby hill! We cheered for her, too.
I was proud as a peacock of my kids but there were some other kids there that really stole the show. The special needs group ran the leg right before Mia's and I bawled through the whole run. A teenage boy pushed another boy in a wheel chair, he may have had cerebral palsy, and they had a blast poppin' wheelies and just going as fast as they could. I'm not sure they were related, but in my mind they were brothers that had found something fun they could do together, and do well. They were the first ones across the finish line. Then there was a little girl who looked like she may have had down syndrome and she was running so fast and high fiving all the volunteers. She even ran off course to give one guy a hug. Her smile was the biggest and I knew she was having a blast.
The last boy to cross the finish line had a walker that he was strapped into from behind and it kept him upright with his arms and legs free to run. He was determined to do this race fully by himself although he had his team of volunteers and family surrounding him and cheering him the whole way. His effort was amazing considering how difficult it was for his feet to get a grip and actually propel him straight forward. Occasionally someone from his group would straighten out his wheels so he'd keep heading in the right direction. He was in last place by a long shot but his smile was so huge as he approached the finish line. It was a big goal he'd set and he did it, all by himself, no one ever gave him even the slightest push. It would have been easier to quit or to never begin, instead he took the challenge and met it. At the end they were pointing at the finish line and telling him "You did it!! You did it!!". The lady that placed his medal around his neck, knelt down and honored him like a hero. And he was.