I was really excited about this race because it was at Nationals Stadium. One, that made it easy to get to and two, what a cool place to do a race!

The Light the Way 5k was a race to benefit the blind — which is awesome because one of our most dedicated Back on My Feet team members is blind. Rodan loves running more than anyone I’ve ever met and he doesn’t let his disability stop him from living it up.

Also, I loved that this race didn’t start until 9am, which gave me an extra hour to sleep in. We met at CSS and walked over to the stadium in the absolutely gorgeous Saturday weather. Past the Capitol and other DC highlights, it was a great morning for a run.

I wasn’t thinking too much about the race because I planned to run with folks from BoMF and 5k’s are so stinkin’ short! It’s such a lot of work to put one together for only 3.1 miles but I know that not everyone wants to run crazy miles like me! However, I usually prefer 10ks so I can at least get a decent work out in.

The route turned out to be beautiful, along a pathway near the water I’d never been on. It was a little chilly so I wore my new Mizuno running jacket until I got warmed up. 

I spent most of the run keeping pace with Larry and Smiley (pic below) — both of whom I really enjoy talking to. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from working with BoMF, it’s that we all have a lot more in common and a lot more to talk about than you’d ever imagine.  I’ve definitely learned that everyone needs to get out there and make friends with folks you wouldn’t expect — and you’ll learn a whole lot.

My running partners, Smiley and Larry.

The race seriously sped by for me because I was talking the whole time, going fairly slow and just so happy to be out running on this beautiful day with other people. Crossing the finish line was a great moment for a few of our members because it was their very first race!

There’s something about being there for that moment. Crossing a finish line is a real, tangible accomplishment and it can mean a great deal. That’s a goal conquered and something to help build up self-esteem and confidence. 

Our blind team member, Rodan with Laron and Tonia (both running their first race!)

We’ve had a lot of great new members to our BoMF group lately and I love the energy that comes with the fall. For the first time in over six months, I’m not on the core team and I’ve handed over my role as team leader. I was ready for the exchange but still feel a sense of responsibility to the team. I truly care about our folks and am always sad to see someone leave or even more so, relapse.

Larry has come a long way and is now working on independent housing. He’s got steady work and a great attitude. He was recently featured on the cover of “Street Sense” and I’m told he is also featured in a forthcoming book by BoMF founder Anne Mahlum.

I recently attended his one-year sobriety ceremony and was touched by how far he’s come. It was pretty cool to hear from his daughter and some other important people in his life who’ve helped get him here. But, mostly, he gives the credit to God and that’s definitely where it’s due.

Of course we had to get a photo with the Presidents — they are famous at Nationals Stadium in case you didn’t know!

Here’s the thing — running is great, I love it. But running with a purpose? Even better. Interested in more information on Back on My Feet in your area? Just ask!

Me, always with the crooked bib, happy to have knocked out 3 blissful miles!

QUESTION: Did you run any races this weekend? Have you been able to support a good cause in your running life?
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