A few weeks ago, one of the girls I trail run with asked me what my most memorable race to date was. It didn’t take me long before I said BMO – but not for the reasons most people would think.
BMO was my goal race, the race I picked to be my first half. I ran it 18 months after surgery in 2:50:25. I had my best friend Jared fly in with his wife Gail and their daughter Hailey so he could run the race with me. I had my cousin Elaine from Fort Nelson come down and run it as well as some other friends from high school. Except for the last few km, I ran with a friend who I had trained with for the last 3 months. My Dad, Mom and brother Brian flew in to support me across the line along with my cousin Katie and husband Ron.
I crossed the finish line to have my cousin Elaine run up and give me the biggest hug possible. We cried and laughed, and I got my medal placed around my neck and we went to find my family.
And it is this moment right here, that made this race the one that will be forever my favorite.
Having my Dad wrap his arms around me after that race, tell me he loved me and was so proud of me made every moment leading up to that day worth the sweat, frustration, tears, pain and joy.
My Dad is probably my biggest cheerleader. He takes the time to text me, message me on FaceBook or call me after almost every run, whether it be a race or just a training run. He tells me constantly how proud he is of me, and that I can do whatever I want. When I finished the Grouse Grind for the first time, I called Dad crying, and said I wasn’t sure I could do it. That it was the toughest thing I had ever done. He told me he was proud of me and knew I could do it.
BMO was the first time I set a goal and did not give up on it. So to have my friends and family there meant the world. But having my Dad there meant more than I can even begin to express. He is the reason I keep pushing myself, that I put myself out there and strive to be the best I can be. I am extremely lucky to have his love and unconditional support no matter what.
And the best part of all, even when he’s not here, in some way my Dad is always part of my race. This past Sunday, my bib #1954 just happened to be the year he was born.
Dad, I love you to the moon and back. I don’t know what I would do without you. Thank you for believing in me, loving me and always encouraging me.