Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Camp Hyannis 2017 Part II Running Friends are the Best!

After a long but incredibly inspiring day, Tom and I debated about whether or not I would do the Expo on the 2nd day. I knew that my table mate Paul was going to run the 10K and was not planning to be at the Expo. Because we shared the table, I couldn't put out everything that I had brought (no complaints just so grateful for the space at the Expo). We left everything at the table, went back to our room, meditated and got a good night's sleep. We woke up to sunshine streaming through the sheer curtain and the sound of Cape Cod bird songs...

I felt in every fiber of my Being that I was meant to be at the Expo on Race Day. Tom and I meditated and brought our race day breakfast of oatmeal, nuts and raisins to the lobby coffee shop and bought juice, a bagel and coffee. I talked with Tom about his plan for race day. Back in 2014, he was primed for a PR but honored the runner's code helping out new runners from the Spaulding Race for Rehab Team. He had the eye of the tiger. He went back to the room to put up his feet, meditate some more and get in the zone for his race. I headed to the Expo.

After posting a picture on Facebook from the Expo on Saturday, one of our friends who we met in Bermuda 2016, Rebekah said, "see you tomorrow." I said, "Can't wait." Somehow among 3500 runners we find our running friends. That's the beauty of Camp Hyannis! On my way to the Expo, I bumped into Rebekah. We hugged and although we had not seen each other since Camp Hyannis 2016, it felt as though no time had passed. She was walking the wrong way to bib pick up so we walked together back to the Expo and bib pick up.

Before long, Camp Hyannis was in high gear. I met so many wonderful runners who had inspiring stories of their own and resonated to my journey. Just as I was winding down my conversation with a runner training for Boston, I hear, "Excuse me!" It was Bob Balfour who gives the best bear hugs I've ever had.

Bob introduced me to Dino who was running his first Half Marathon. Bob talked with Dino about me on the ride from the North Shore to Cape Cod to inspire him! I was so humbled by their words.

Our L Street running family found me (one of the reasons I was so smart to keep the table at the Expo). My friend Jennifer had been at Bermuda Marathon Race Weekend but we kept missing each other. "We missed each other in Bermuda but I'm so glad I found you here." Our dear friend through the years, Bea, stopped by along with Kathy and Carla who had been a part of my pre-race experience last year.

It was getting close to gun time and time to head out to the starting line. On the way, we bumped into the Spaulding Rehab Race for Rehab Team. Amanda who Tom had helped finish her first Half Marathon race in 2014 and Suzanne Adams who I met ten years ago when I first started my incredible journey were there. It was a very emotional moment for me to realize how far I've traveled in these past 10 years.

Photos from the start:

It was the first time that I was support crew that I felt completely comfortable with my decision to not run the 10K and for Tom to have the opportunity to see what he could do in the Half.

Bea ran the 10K and what an absolute gift to be able to spend time together after she finished her race. She hadn't been training much because of the renovations and rebranding part of her restaurant the Red Parrot with Inspire. We went out to the finish together and cheered on Tom to his PR of 2:03; his redemption from 2014, and saw Bob cross at 1:59:59. Soon Dino crossed the finish line along with Carla and Kathy.

While I as at my table at the Expo I was blessed to meet David Johndrow. We have similar journeys and did a book trade.

One very shy and timid woman stopped by my table wondering what my story was. I told her and she said, "Wow you really put my life in perspective. I'm a quitter and I need inspiration." I told her she was not a quitter because she was open to reading about how others found their strength and perseverance. We hugged after she bought a copy of my book.

Running friends old and new are the best. Camp Hyannis is the best place to experience running family at its finest.

After posting photos on Facebook, Bob commented, "It was awesome to see you and Tom and chat a bit. Thanks for being a guiding light to anyone that gets put in your path!! We are all so Blessed to have you as a friend!!" I responded that we are blessed to be a part of each other's village helping us to be the best we can possibly be on the roads and off.

After our traditional apres race lunch at Bogey's where everybody knows our name after 7 years we checked out at the front desk. The manager gave us his card and said that when we make our reservations for next year to please work with him to ensure we get the room we want.

So long Hyannis 2017 - another great weekend at Camp Hyannis! See you in 2018!

In tomorrow's blog I'll be sharing a Celebration of Healing as inspired by Camp Hyannis through the years.

To your health and wellness,

My latest book, 'Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance' is available on Amazon chronicling my journey to health and wellness as a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma.

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