It is hard to believe that December 2016 marks the end of my fourth year of running a monthly 5K for our Foundation! What started back in January 2013 between me and my friends Amy, Kelley, and Christine as a one year commitment to run a monthly 5K in memory of Kass, has grown into a monthly celebration of life. Of hope. Of love. Four years and going strong.
I am grateful to the people who have joined me along the way, most notably Amy, Kelley, Christine, Leslie, Kelly, Nora, Tina, Pete, my brothers and my Dad and Mom, and all of the countless others who have supported this effort. I am grateful most especially to Jamie who has been my rock and my biggest fan each and every step of the way. Dropping me off at most of the starting lines, waiting for me at countless finish lines, and always encouraging me to keep going no matter what. He is a treasure to me! Plainly and simply.
I share below some observations about what the last four years have meant to me:
- I have completed races in 18 communities including Hughesville, Muncy, Unityville, Loyalsock, Williamsport, Jersey Shore, DuBoistown, South Williamsport, Warrensville, Lewisburg, Bloomsburg, Wilkes Barre, Millville, Milton, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Allentown, and Washington, D.C.
- I have completed 48 5Ks and 3 half marathons, and an 8K since January 2013, comprising about 190 miles. Taken separately, these miles are the equivalent of running 7.25 full marathons in four years!
- I have run in support of many important community causes, including: Lewisburg Rotary, Flight 800, St. Columba School, East Lycoming YMCA, Run for Your Heart, K’s for Cancer, East Lycoming Foundation, Little League, Crosscutters, Williamsport Schools, May Day, Rider Park, Home to Haiti, Muncy Schools, Country Store Kicks Cancer, Sheetz Color Run for Kids, YWCA, Race Against Addiction, and many more. I have learned so much about all of the good causes happening in our community.
- After four years of running, I still get choked up when I cross the finish line. I always finish the same. Looking up, throwing a kiss to the sky, then a fist in the air in victory.
- I have never won a race. I have never come close to winning. Not even my age group. But, I have never cared about my time. The victory for me is in the experience of waking up on race day, feeling proud that I have found a way to keep going, wearing my Foundation shirt, going to the race, running with my heart wide open, and crossing the finish line in memory of those I love. Winning a medal could never replace that feeling.
- People have asked me when I am going to stop. I cannot imagine a time when I will say “that’s enough.” I plan to keep running until I am unable to run. It is then that I will walk. When I can no longer walk, I will figure out what is next. Until that day, I will run.
- I have never used this initiative as a fundraiser, but some very generous folks have donated to me along the way. I am grateful for every dollar we raise. If you are interested in supporting my running, please consider a donation to our Foundation in any amount. Each donation is considered a blessing!
- When I run, I remember all of the times I ran with Kass. I think about what she would say about this initiative. I hope she would be proud to know that I have kept going, just like she wanted me to do. I wonder what my Dad would think? After we lost Kass, he would encourage me to work through my grief by doing whatever was best for me. He always told me he was proud of me after every race I ran. My Mom continues this sentiment today. After every race, I receive a text from her that says: “I am so proud of you, Krista. I love you.”
- I cannot explain why I keep running. I guess it is the one thing I can do to feel some sense of control after the terrible toll the loss of my Dad and sister has had on me…and continues to have on me. Many will never understand my journey, and that’s okay. I run to find peace in my heart. I run to honor the life, legacy, and love of two people I loved most in the world. I run to build hope for tomorrow. I run for life. I run for love. Most of all, I run for all of those who can no longer run. Because I can. I run for Kass and my Dad. Because I love them and I miss them every single day.
I made this 3-minute video to highlight some of my runs over the past four years. The video is set to the beautiful voice of Alicia Keys and the most amazing lyrics….Not Even The King….
I hope you enjoy it! Much love, Krista