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Yesterday our Ward (church congregation) had a 5K Fun Run/Walk for a youth fundraiser. It was a lot of fun. I was so impressed with how well it was organized and executed. It has been heavily advertised for some time now. Including Pew to 5K flyers with a calendar of exercises to prepare a person to run a 5K. Every Sunday said to pray for strength.


A couple of tables were set up to either register or pick up your goodies faster if you pre-registered. Every family got a small canvas bag filled with items needed for the race: official running bibs (the numbers you pin on your clothes) and safety pins, running buffs (the cotton tubes most people wore as headbands) with P4 5K 2016 printed on both sides, fruit snacks and granola bars. Don’t we all look good in our buffs?

The other covered table was for the bake sale. Gavin helped his dad make peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for the bake sale. Nothing had a price. You just take what you want and give a donation. The boys didn’t come with me to the table. Parker said Paul shared cookies with him and Gavin didn’t really answer me. So I took Gwen to the table for the treats she thought she would die without! Between what I got her and what her friends shared, that girl ate all morning.


Heath went as the unofficial photographer. I love this picture. On the left Gavin is chilling with his friend Luke and Luke’s sister Alaysia. On the right you can see Parker receiving a huge bear hug from his best friend’s little brother. Jack is Gwen’s age. I wonder how many of Parker and Paul’s playdates he hijacks. Gwen hijacks the playdates we host at our house!

There was a lot of milling around while we waited for the race to kick off at 9:00 am. Gavin had to get to the church by 7:30 am to help set up. The rest of us got there an hour later. Finally the fearless YM President/MC, Joe, started things off.


I love the wild adventurous looks in everyone’s eyes. There was a fair amount of pushing and shoving as kids jockeyed for position. Jake is in the white shirt on the far left. His sister Allie is in the gray jacket reaching out to shove him. There was a whole series of pictures where you can see her shoving her brother and he has that older brother laugh on his face in every one.


This is a good shot of both my boys.


This was a funny moment. Mike pushed three of his four kids in a stroller. Blake did not want to give up the phone! It was a bit of a tug of war for Mike to get his phone back and get going.


From the church parking lot we went around the corner and onto the trail. This is the same trail that runs behind our house. It’s much prettier by the church!


Youth that didn’t want to run were strategically placed along the route. Some girls cheered everyone on as they pointed out the route to take. Several kids and a couple youth leaders manned a water station near the halfway mark. Another girl studied Isaiah while she sat on a lawn chair pointing out the turnaround at the halfway mark. Heath got pictures of everyone and shared them with the youth leaders to disperse how they choose.

Heath and I were the last people on the trail. He walked my legs off trying to get in front of one group so we didn’t have back shots only of them. We knew that eventually people would start running back and we could get some good pictures that way.


It didn’t take long before we started to see runners coming back. My jaw dropped when I saw who the first three runners were. Jon Eric (Bishopric counselor in red), Jake (15 year old in white), and my Gavin a little behind them. Jon Eric and Jake ran together while Gavin stayed close behind. By the way, Jon Eric is an avid runner. He ran his first marathon when he was 9.


Gavin says he doesn’t remember his time. I heard the three of them came in around 18 or 19 minutes. Heath and I cheated and ended up with a time of over 50 minutes! Gavin is wearing his new March Mile Madness shirt that he received on Friday for running 20 miles in 20 days during PE. Everything about the shirt is the same as last year’s shirt except for the addition of the words “The Sequel.”

I didn’t realize it was a new school tradition. Alex, Avalon’s mom, and I were talking about the upcoming track season. She said that by next year, Gavin will be one of the few 8th graders who will have all three March Mile Madness t-shirts. She wished that Avalon had participated last year too. She just has the 2016 shirt.


The shirt says eat, sleep, run, repeat. That’s my Gavin. This boy lives to run. Imagine my beaming pride as I see my boy is in third place behind a 15 year old and 40 something year old marathoner. Then I find out that Gavin got back on the trail to run again! When he turned around at the halfway mark he walked back. I love watching his passion for running.


Here is the Bishop. He told the priests (16 and 17 year old boys) that he would buy ice cream for any priest who could beat him. That was the problem with Jake being the first youth to finish. He’s not quite a priest yet. But he has major bragging rights!

The Bishop said he was running along and heard some commotion behind him. Then this whoosh went by. It was Adam who had run past him then passed out (not really) on the church’s lawn. He was the only priest to earn the ice cream. When Heath told me that story I laughed. Adam was Heath’s only deacon to earn a steak dinner. I guess that boy will work for food!


This is a great picture. I love how Mike is running his three babies past two walkers! That was the best part of the activity though. Everyone could go at their own pace. Carla and Leah are no slouches. They walk around the park and in and out of the circles along the Road to Nowhere several times a week.


Secretly I was wondering where my other kids were. I knew Gavin was running but who knows with the other two. Parker and Eden had been walking and talking the whole way. They broke into a sprint for the pictures. Paul is a runner so he “abandoned” Parker to run. Paul is the Amazing Lizzie’s younger brother. I am happy to see that Parker is still good friends with Eden. Some of his closest friends have always been girls.


Heath wondered if Vicki would be okay with having her picture taken. Then she struck a pose. I think she was okay with it! Gwen was walking with her girls Rachel and Jane.


Gwen was in friend heaven all day. We went to the General Women’s Broadcast later in the afternoon. Gwen was annoyed when I was talking to my friend Stephanie for so long. I tore myself away for her sake and we got our dinner.

Gwen: Sit wherever you want, Mom. I’m going to sit up there with all those girls!

She sat on the stage with all the young Primary girls while I had to fend for myself. Nice. I found Stephanie again and we enjoyed talking more. I love Stephanie. She always finds me at crowded functions like that and we just hang out talking in our own little corner. She’s so cool!


Heath and I spent a little too much time hanging out with the kids at the water station. Owen rocks though. We miss having him as our babysitter now that Gavin is old enough.

The kid races were supposed to start at 10:00. It was 9:40 and we were over a mile away from the church. In the distance I recognized the bridge. It’s where the kids and I get off the trail to get to 7-11. Heath said we should just walk home and take his car back to the church! Uh … it’s faster just to turn around and walk to the church.

One of the leaders heard us debating over our limited time to get to the church. Since we were the last people on the trail the water station was getting packed up. Maria offered to give us a ride back to the church. She had her van parked at that trail entrance. So we piled into her van with her husband and three kids under the age of 4.

I felt like we cheated only in the sense that I planned on walking three miles and I walked about half that. But we really needed to get to the church to shoot pictures of the kids races. It was nice to hitch a ride to make that happen.


Parker and Paul were racing around the church building when I told them to get to the back parking lot for the 100 meter dash. Parker was tired after running around playing so much. He came in last place. In his defense, they all finished about the same time. He just happened to be a second or two after the last kid.

Also in his defense, he was running with Paul who runs cross country, and Claire whose parents both run. Claire is Avalon’s little sister. McKenzie is in the yellow shirt. Her family moved in a couple months ago so I don’t know her athletic background. She was a little firecracker though. Very competitive.

Gwen did not run the 100 meter dash. It’s hard to want to when there is so much food to be eaten in the back of a pickup truck with friends! Eventually we gathered the kids up (which was a feat in and of itself) and we went home.

I can’t wait to hear how much money the youth earned. I hope it was a successful event because it was sure fun. After all, I went! And I had a great time. Any ward activity that attracts me and is fun deserves major points.