A hydrangea bush laden with melon-sized blossoms and our desire to support an important cause along with a general wish to send some good vibes out into the world prompted my “Flowers for Goodness’ Sake” pseudo-flower cart at the end of our driveway. The chalkboard sign and framed note encouraged people to “Take what you want – Leave what you’d like” and explained that all donations would go directly to the Cady Tucker Run in the Spirit Race that we had signed up for in Idaho.
Running the Head for a Cure race last summer in St. Louis solidified our commitment to choosing races that support a meaningful cause. So when we searched for a race in Idaho this summer we were immediately drawn to the Cady Tucker Run in the Spirit 5K. Their website has an eloquently written tribute to Cady who was tragically killed in an auto accident. It also outlines the race’s excellent mission which includes purchasing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for area schools.
So in the week before we traveled to the race I started my day by cutting fresh flowers and setting them in old sap buckets by the edge of the road. And as the days passed we received generous donations and thoughtful notes from our friends and neighbors.
We arrived in Idaho late the night before the race and appreciated the 9:15 start time and the two hour time zone difference the next morning as we headed to the race. When we arrived we were impressed by the number of runners, volunteers, and supporters in attendance. The sense of community and passion for the cause was clearly evident.
The event included a 5 mile relay, 5K and 5 mile races, and a kids’ fun run. We opted for the 5K race which was run along a quiet paved path lined with waterways, greenery, and occasional residences. The course was tranquil and flat-just perfect!
The after-race refreshments included a delectable array of fruit and artisan breads which were sliced to order by an enthusiastic crew of volunteers.
I opted for a slice of lemon blueberry bread and Mike was in heaven with his choice of whole grain bread with natural peanut butter-his absolute favorite! These options were clearly a notch above most race fare.
During the race we had run near a couple and their two young children-one in a stroller and the other a little guy who zipped past us repeatedly. We had a chance to chat with them after the race and it came up in conversation that we were from Maine and had chosen this race for our Idaho race. We were encouraged to meet Pat Tucker, Cady’s mom, whom I had communicated with online prior to the race.
It was a true honor to meet Pat. After a few photos she kindly introduced us to the crowd as the couple that was trying to run a race in every state and then asked us to say a few words. Although public speaking is not my forte I was happy to express how much it meant to us to be a part of an incredible event that honored such a special person and that had an outstanding mission.
After we had left the race and continued on our travels I emailed Pat to tell her about our Flowers for Goodness’ Sake endeavor and to let her know a check would be on its way. Her reply was incredibly gracious as she expressed her gratitude for the additional donation. I replied that it had truly been our great pleasure to have been part of their race and to send along some additional goodness from Maine.
Adding this new activity to our racing gave it a whole new dimension beyond our own personal quest. Although this action was small we hope that perhaps those who contributed as well as those who may benefit enjoyed the spirit in which it was offered…for goodness’ sake.
Quest Race #: 36
Date Run: July 21, 2018
The Bottom Line: We will remember this race as one of the most poignant and meaningful races we have done in our quest. Our connection with the people involved with the race as well as the kindness shown by our neighbors and friends at home in Maine will remain a highlight of our adventure. Thank you!