Tuesday, November 10, 2015

He did it again!

As you probably know from several of my posts over the last few months, Matt was on the Host Committee for the National Race to End Women's Cancer 5K, which took place this past Sunday in Washington, D.C.  Matt was contacted earlier in the year to be a part of the Committee after his first place finish last year. Though Matt is always up for a fast, flat course, Matt has run this race in support of raising awareness and vital research funds for women's cancer after my mom was diagnosed with endometrial cancer in 2011.  Click here for a link to last year's summary and click here for a link to Matt's story on the Foundation's website.  The race raised $446,126 in support of women's cancer, and thanks to your generous support of Team Daddy's Blind Ambition, we contributed $1,035 to that total.  Thank you!  Matt was on WJLA last Friday with the National Race Chair, Camille Grammer, and cancer survivor Tamika Felder to talk about the race.  Click here to see the interview  Zachary kept saying, "Daddy's on TV, Daddy's on TV!" the entire time we watched it.

Matt with Tamika and Camille after the interview

A picture from the WJLA interview

Though this is a road race, the 5,000 is one of the distances that Matt is hoping to race in Rio at the 2016 Paralympics so it was a win-win to run this race again this year.  Matt first ran it solo in 2013 when it was an 8k, then last year he and I both ran it.  Well this year we had a team of 12 runners and walkers and five kids participating in the race and wearing Team Daddy's Blind Ambition shirts. 

Team Daddy's Blind Ambition before the race (not pictured are Ian, Donald, & Chrisy)
Matt hasn't raced since Nationals over the summer so this was a great opportunity to get him back in race mode and test out his time on the road.  Chuck agreed to guide him again this year, which was a huge relief since this course has a lot of turns and u-turns -- not great for a visually-impaired guy.  Though there were plenty of volunteers on the course, they weren't calling out directions so it would have been easy for Matt to have missed a turn.  

It was a pretty good day for a race -- the weather was cool, but not cold and there weren't the strong winds we had last year.  I probably said this in my post about last year's race, but I love the 9am start!  We didn't take the kids down to the Marine Corps Marathon two weekends ago because we had to leave the house by 5am.  Leaving at 7am was much more manageable and it meant happy kiddos. 

The kids have cheered at lots of races, but this was the first time they have been IN a race. Emily and Marisa were very excited.  Though they probably would have made it the whole way walking, I opted to push all three in the Bob until the final straight away.  Emily kept asking me when they could get out and run and when I said "now" they were off.  The three of us ran in the last little bit with Zachary along for the ride.  They loved crossing the finish line and got very excited when my name was announced crossing the finish line. 

I know the title gave it away, but I'll tell you anyway -- Matt won the race in 17:29!  It is a huge improvement over last year's 18:15.  Team Daddy's Blind Ambition Ian Clements took second in a time of 18:54.   Way to go team!

Matt showing off his first place prize - a Visa gift card

I would like to send out a big thank you to our team:  Diane, Elizabeth, Gilbert, Ian, Chuck, Jeff, Milky, Chris, Donald, and Chrisy.  Also, thank you to the generous donations from Leila, Tom & Debbie, Pat & Kara, David & Terrie, Jean, Tom, Melisa, and Mandi - thank you for contributing to raise awareness for women's cancer!

Matt has been upping his weekly mileage, but other than a Turkey Trot, doesn't currently have any races scheduled.  He is focused on getting FASTER!  Stay tuned for updates on his progress!

Happy running.

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