Jared Coones 5K Pumpkin Run 2009

This past Saturday, our family participated in the Jared Coones Pumpkin Run. Jared was a boy who attended our elementary school who passed away from leukemia. Later, his mother, Jayne, died from breast cancer. Jared's family and friends put together this run/walk to honor both Jared & Jayne's lives, as well as to raise money to help other families who are dealing with cancer. This year, there were over 3,200 race participants! The biggest turn out so far in it's 11 year history.

The Black Bob Blazers
(Rob is on the far left bottom row,
MJ is four in from the left on the bottom row,
Isaac is in the center of the second row with the camo hat,
John and I are the two on the right end on the last row)

Our family has been preparing for the Jared Coones Run since August. First, we became members of the Black Bob Blazers - our elementary school running club. John and I were parent assistant coaches. It was such a blast! I'm so not a runner. In fact, I'm of the opinion that exercise is a necessary evil and only participate if it's with a friend and there's at least a modicum of fun. Well, let me tell you, running with about thirty Kindergarten through 3rd graders, it's TOTALLY fun! I had the honor of being the caboose during practices. I had my two year old in a stroller and ran behind all the other kids. If some of the kids needed to walk, then I *gratefully* walked with them. =)

Aside from the running club, our family also participates with the Black Bob Presidential Service Committee. The week of the run, we volunteered our time to help get the packets ready for the runners. One day, we put the safety pins in groups of four. We dumped a bunch of pins in the middle of the table, then our five-year-old counted them into groups of four and the rest of us pinned them together. Except for our two-year-old who just played and looked cute. Then another day that week, we met with the Jared Coones committee to put the packets together. I was impressed how much we were able to accomplish in such a small period of time. Serving truly makes a difference!

Rob & Anna during warm-ups.

Finally, race day arrived. It was a very chilly 31 degrees, warming up to about 36 degrees by the end of the race. It was most definitely a day I'd rather be sitting inside with a nice hot mug of cocoa, rather than getting up at 6 am to get everyone ready to walk to the school by 7 am. Did I mention the race is held at our elementary school each year? Our neighborhoods were packed with cars from runners who traveled much further distances than the 1/2 mile from our house to the school.

We met up with the rest of the Blazers, stretched, and warmed up (as much as we could in the frosty weather!).

My hubby, me, Isaac, Rob, & Anna
(MJ ran to use the bathroom one last time!)

MJ & Alina before the race

At 8 am, we sang the national anthem, had a prayer, then the runners were off! I ran with a group of run/walkers - which included my five-year-old, my two-year-old in a stroller, and three eight-year-old girls (one of whom was my daughter). We started out running and mostly ran for the first mile. Then we got into hilly territory. We walked the uphills and ran the downhills for the last two miles. Just before we rounded the last corner, I told the kids it was time for the very last stretch of the race and that just around that corner they'd see the balloon arch and finish line. I reminded them to run their best all the way until they crossed through the line. Once we rounded the corner, the three girls took off and ran together the last couple blocks and across the finish line - earning an awesome time of 50 minutes!

My five-year-old and I also started our slow run for the finish line. My little guy was definitely running out of steam though . . . until he saw Dad & Isaac on the sidelines, cheering us on. Then he dug in and burst into an awesome run, all the way through the finish line. I was so proud of him! We finished in 52 minutes! It was a 30 minute improvement for me from last year.

Isaac & his teacher, Mrs. Wittman

The Ferguson Family
After crossing the Finish Line!

My hubby and our ten-year-old, Isaac, ran the race and completed it in 31 minutes (a 16 minute improvement from last year!). I was totally wowed by what an incredible job they did! They ran straight through. Isaac's best mile was the 2nd mile, which he ran in 8 1/2 minutes. He's so awesome! He most certainly gets his running talent from his dad.

Delinda & a sleeping Sienna

Our family cooled off together, then headed out for breakfast with our friends, The Johnson Family. We all chowed down with HUGE breakfasts at Cracker Barrel. I still can't believe I finished the whole, entire Grandpa's Country Fried breakfast. I usually have at least half to take home!

We had such a great time running the 5K together as a family. We've decided to look for more runs we can do together. Although at this point in the season, it will probably be spring before there are more runs. But if anyone knows of other activities that would be fun to do together as a family, I'd love to hear your suggestions!

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Cindy Beck, author said...

Yay, yay for you and your family, Danyelle! That's so awesome that you did the 5K. I'm proud of you! And thanks for telling us all about it. It was almost as fun as being there to cheer you on.

Josi said...

Way to go, Danyelle! Our family loves doing these things--well, the two teenage girls don't, but we make em do it anyway :-)