Hey there, day is done!
I just did a hasty, unedited synopsis of today. Here goes:
Day 1 is complete. What a day full of emotion, love and remembrance. The morning was really emotional. Joining us at the memorial ceremony was Re McClung, Gold Star mother of Major Megan McClung, who was killed in Iraq in 2006. She was loving, generous of spirit and I was so honored to have her with us. Good friend and colleague, David Love, led us in a remembrance of the bravery of our servicewomen, particularly Army LT Ashley White, killed in Afghanistan while serving a member of a Cultural Support Team. Dave highlighted the fact that our fallen women are not victims, but women of strength who answered the call to serve. After the service, we headed out, walking the first mile. It was a great way to start, with all of my three children, my mom, Major General Tracy Garrett, USMC (ret) and her husband, Marine Corps Support Group’s Ed Doyne, Dave Love and his sister, Deana, and other new friends. After a mile, quiet descended as just Dave and Deana continued on with me. A highlight included crossing the fantastically beautiful Deception Pass Bridge, where we saw otters floating on their backs, basking in the beauty of the day. Dave and Deana left me there, and then I was on my own. We enjoyed some time with newsteam, Joanna and Dan, of KIRO. Joanna is a marathoner, and was very supportive of Valor Run. Later in the day, I had the joy of running for a few hours with my husband, Dan, as one of my best friends, Shannon Leidholm, and her daughter Payton, joined to support. In the early afternoon, Tom Tomfohr, of both the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation and Marine Corps Support Group joined me with great stories and very funny jokes. I smiled for an hour with Tom, and kept him going as long as possible as he is generously donating to the event for each mile he ran! While running with Tom, I was joined with local soccer superstar, CW Triplett. CW had to crawl to match my 10 minute/mile pace, but he is also a great storyteller and conversationalist. At 4pm, Ron and Don of 97.3 checked in on me again. I love talking to them as they are true patriots, and very supportive of Valor Run. They appealed to the audience to donate to Valor Run, and their followers were clearly listening. About 10 minutes into the interview, I was running my last few miles with CW and Shannon, and a man pulled his car off the road ahead of us. He’d been listening to the show, and stopped to give us every last dollar in his pocket. He also proudly shared that he was a Navy dad, and his daughter was in the process of changing duty stations from Bahrain to Suba Bay, Greece. His gesture reenergized me for the last few miles. I finished feeling very good and so loved by my support crew. Social media crew, Lainey Bansemer, took great pictures. My son, Sam, kept me on schedule with food, hydration and smiles, and my husband kept us all safe and sound as the “rear guard” with the RV. I feel great now, and am hopeful tomorrow is as inspiring as today.