I suck at grammar, and I write like I talk. This is why I sucked in English and would rather tell stories through my lens. But I wanted to share this story because days like these are the times that make my life so beautiful.
Matt and I made it to Sacramento after 4 hours of driving and received the best hospitality we’ve received in a very long time. My sister CJ, Joe, and my ever so beautiful Gracey set aside their lives to entertain and provide us with much needed support-as Matt tackles one of his long term goal for the second time. As crazy as it sounds- he was determined to finish a 50 mile race and “secretly” we were there to support him. CJ, Joe, Gracey, we can’t even thank you guys enough.
Matt and Joe started at 4:30 Sat. AM (Joe had to go to work and Matt had to be at the starting line at 7am). CJ and I woke up at 11am (from having to go to bed at 3am)- frantic. Matt texted CJ and said he was passing the aid station where we thought was his half way mark. I was so stunned, I thought-wow? He’s already half way!? We scurried to get ready and then found out that his course have been completely changed and he was still on his 10 minute mile pace to finish- which meant around 6pm. (Thank goodness)
We pick up Gracey and her bff Phoenix. They ran out of the gate excited to see Adora. Starbucks. McDonald’s. Starbuck’s again. We set out to meet Matt at the Folsom Damm Park aid station. “Where’s the race packet? Oh shit!” I meant, ‘shute’, I turned to look at the kids hoping they didn’t hear me- “I left it at your house.” Char says, “Hmmmm… should we go back home or should we ask Becky for directions?” Let’s ask Becky. Becky tells us directions and we find out that the road was closed, and to make things EVEN better, Becky showed us that she was low on battery , so… we had to think of something quick!
We stopped by the nearest gas station. Adora flies out of the car- a pedestrian tried to grab a hold of her as I ran yelling, NO! Come! Come! Char was holding her breath, and the kids were looking through the window hoping that it wasn’t their fault. Finally the gas attendant came out and helped me corner Adora. Thank goodness!
CJ goes back into the store and asks for directions, we were back on track only to find out that the next road was also closed. We call Matt and he says; “I left Folsom Damm Road already.” F***. Where are you going next? “Negro Park.” Where the hell is that? Matt sat silently on the phone, and I thought, whoops, ok never mind, we’ll see you there! I said a quick I love you and good job then hung up. I called my sister in law and my brother texted us the info/directions to Negro park. (Thanks Wyatt and Ate Bambi!)
We found it, we danced in the car, the kids yelled, “I’m hungry” and we promised them candy if they would practice screaming “Go Uncle Matt! when he runs by. We got to the park, we waited. I started taking pictures of the kids and CJ to make sure I get the proper exposure and I turn around and Matt is walking up to us! We all looked at him and was confused- we didn’t recognize him because he had this moppy looking thing on his head! Then loud cheers, encouragements, and whoohooo’s came pouring out and became priority. Picture-picture time! Matt started moving within minutes- “Go Uncle Matt! Go Uncle Matt!” The girls and I leave—On to our next “road trip,”- to the finish line.
Since we had a couple of hours to burn, we stopped by the store and got the kids some treats, CJ bought balloons and I bought boards, and stickers so that the girls can make signs. Gracey and Phoenix are tired and not talking to each other at this point. Gracey, share your feelings. “No.” Oh my goodness. I began to think these kids hated me and can’t believe that I was dragging them around Sacramento. (Thank you girls and CJ for the road venture. I love you.)
We get to the finish line and the school was filled with runners and fam members waiting for their love ones to finish. Joe gets there (after working, being up at 4:30am, and driving 2 hours back home) are these people for real? I mean, they are just the most supportive and loving couple I’ve ever witnessed and no matter how tired they were- they were there for one thing; Us. My heart melts when I think about it.
The sun was going down and CJ did everything she could to keep the kids entertained. She told the girls to form a line and march with her and started chanting “Go Uncle Matt” (for practice). Joe got involved and he lead the pack, then right in the middle stopped, looked at char (lovingly of course) and said, “wait, I can’t believe you got me doing this.” Oh, what a beautiful thing I’ve witnessed that day… I observed nothing but love, it was so refreshing and sweet. Again, heart-melting.
I forgot my flash, and I hate hate hate my on-camera flash- so I took pictures by doing the best it could in my camera without using the flash, they are what they are- but the feel of them all makes up for it.
The coordinators started to pack up and put the barriers away. I looked around, there were no one else outside except for us and a few people in the gym. I ran inside, concerned because we haven’t seen or heard from Matt and it was almost 7:20pm. (cut off time was 8pm) “Excuse me miss, about how many people are there left? Are they going to be able to finish?” The lady looked at me and tried to stay positive, “oh there’s about a dozen of them left out there, he should be able to finish.” Should be able to? F***. I was really nervous but I wasn’t going to tell the crew that he may not finish. I go outside and we continued to wait.
Next thing I know, there’s this limpy body coming in going the wrong way because they had put the barriers away. “Is that him?! Is it!?” It is! This way- this way! “Go Uncle Matt- Go Uncle Matt!” The girls stood holding the signs proudly. A sigh of relief and I was trying not to cry. The kids ran up and showed him the signs they made and CJ/Joe ran up to congratulate.
Good job lovey. I am so proud of you. I am so grateful for the crew. Thank you.
Here you will find Matt’s brilliant story. Not only is he a fantastic runner, he is also an amazing writer and picture taker.
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