Every year at the St Patrick’s Day Run (formerly owned by Mountain Man Events, now owned by BBSC) I run to honor Ladybug. You may recall, this is the event I ran the day after she died and was nicknamed “The Ladybug Runner”.
This year, I wanted to do something extra special, since it was the 5th anniversary of her death. I contacted Heaven Can Wait Animal Society of Las Vegas to see if I could do a fund raiser for them. They provide no-cost to low-cost spay and neuters to pets in need. As you know, that is my animal advocacy platform = spay and neuter!
From their website, “Heaven Can Wait Animal Society, a non-profit 501 (c)(3) animal humane organization, was formed in 2000 by a group of 5 concerned citizens with the idea of building a beautiful 20 acre sanctuary to house all of the unwanted animals in our community. In the meantime, though, animals were and still are dying at rate of around “30,000 per year in our local shelters with even more just dying in the streets. Therefore, we decided to refocus our efforts slightly away from rescue and more toward promoting spay/neuter as the solution to the tragic pet overpopulation problem here in Las Vegas.”
About 2 weeks before race day, we launched the fund raiser with their social media following and I held my breathe. I wanted this to be a success for them, I hoped for $500!
Days leading up to the race, we went over $500 and then, something happened. The night before the race, we reached $1,397!!! It took my breathe away because I saw the irony in that number
Ladybug died when she was 13 and she was born in ’97
I woke up on race morning so excited and so proud of the race community. I had one job to do and that was run a strong 5k in her honor and for all my animal loving friends. For the first time, I was wearing a Ladybug Runner shirt. A design from my brother. Okay, I know – 5 years later I finally get a shirt. Don’t laugh too much!
My brother and my son drove to the race day. I asked my son to come with us because he started the yellow tennis ball tradition and I felt he needed to see this special moment.
After a warm-up, Renna and Alex from HCWS met us there and brought poster boards to cheer me on! How sweet. They said they had 2 more, and I had to wait to see them.
The weather was perfect and we were ready. My brother was running the 12k and I, of course was doing the 5k.
The race was set at 6 Tunnels and I couldn’t wait to get started! Unfortunately, some inconsiderate runners hindered the start for me and many others. They decided as soon as they crossed the finish line to STOP and take selfies. Really, people? In front of all the runners. Despite being told to move they stood there, GIGGLED and took their dang pictures.
Once I got around the inconsiderate runners (I hope they have some wonderful pictures of people getting angry with them and tell them to move, seriously) I started moving. I wasn’t looking to PR, but I did want a good time.
Right away, I could feel my feel not grabbing the dirt trail. That was very unusual for this course, it’s not hard, it’s loose gravel and dirt. But, I felt slippery.
That never changed, but I was having a blast and I kept going!After the turn around, tried to push but my feet couldn’t get underneath me. Good grief.
As I turned the corner into the finish, I could hear tons of people screaming and of course, I saw the poster boards from HCWS, well kinda. (I saw the posters, but I didn’t actually see what they said.)
After I retrieved my medal, Alex (from HCWS started walking towards me with a big poster board). On the board was a big red heart and Ladybug’s picture! OH….I cried! What a sweet gift!
Here is my post race photo with their sweet signs.
We waited around for the awards. My brother was first in his AG and I was the traditional 2nd in my AG. The day was perfect and I couldn’t imagine having it any other way.
BUT WAIT! By the time the fund raiser ended, we had raised close to $1,500 in less than 2 weeks!
Thank you HCWS for allowing me to race to benefit your charity. I look forward to doing this again and again. If you are an animal lover, please consider making a donation to this great organization at www.hcws.org
For a great race experience, every time – please check out BBSCRun.com! You will be glad you did.