This meet was a great reminder that things don’t always go as planned…and the most powerful attribute is resilience. Oiselle brought a nice contingent to the meet. We had 7 athletes: Kara Goucher, Christine Babcock, Kerri Gallagher, Lauren Wallace, Megan Rolland, Collier Lawrence, and Mel Lawrence (Shalaya Kipp had to stay home with an illness).
Sally and I rolled (aka flew) into town that morning, for an inspiring luncheon with Every Mother Counts.
It was great to re-connect in person with our EMC friends, and get even more inspired by their mission and goals.
The rain let up for a bit in the late afternoon, and by the time we headed to the track, skies were cloudy but not oppressively dark. Laura organized our cheer squad, and we got ready for the steeple.
Our gals were so courageous…Collier, Megan, and Mel showed off their steeple form and moxie, and Megan ended up with a PR of 9:53.81.
As the 800’s started, with Lauren Wallace in heat 2, the skies darkened. By the time Kerri Gallagher ran the 1500 (tripped up in a fall), an ominous purple storm bank was upon us. As Leo thundered to his win in the 1500, actual thunder accompanied him. A 30-minute break was announced. The skies opened. Everyone dashed for any undercover spot they could find. About 50 spectators hustled for a college building that had an open door. As we all dripped and huddled in the hallway, a security guard paced down the hallway announcing “You cannot be in here. Please leave.” We all lowered our eyes, not acknowledging that he had spoken. Civil disobedience felt like the right action given the storm outside the door. After about 10 minutes his pronouncements became more forceful, and we all made a dash for the next alcove. I handed out picky bars to delighted shrieks. HS boys: “What does Lauren’s Mega Nuts mean?” hehehe.
(Kara Goucher and coach, Mark Wetmore, pre-race)
Every 15 minutes or so, another 30 minute delay was announced. Finally, after 9:20pm, the announcement came: remainder of meet cancelled. Everyone who had stuck around was epically bummed. The 5K athletes, including CBabs and Kara, were all milling around in a gym area looking deflated, after trying to keep their warm-up fresh for hours. Making the best of the situation, our runfamily gathered at the Golden Road Brewery to take comfort in each other’s company. By the middle of the next day, after our early am trips home, life’s priorities rearranged. We learned of Lauren’s father’s passing, and suddenly a race didn’t seem so important.
There will always be more races. But we treasure the journey the most, and are thankful that running has brought us together, for good times and bad. We send our hero, Lauren Fleshman, all of our love during this heartbreaking time for her family.