Last night is my normal weekly Monday night run with Tin Roof 2 Crew, however it was a very special night. Kyle, the owner at Tin Roof, as well as the owners of our local Fleet Feet, both happened to be in Boston running / spectating for the marathon. They wanted to team up together to somehow help those affected by the tragedy and last night is where all the magic happened.
Together, they picked out a family- 2 daughters and a husband who were all cheering at the finish line in anticipation of their mom finishing her first Boston Marathon. The two daughters both swam for University of TN, and one is still an active athlete, Erika, who happened to lose her lower leg. Since she has ties to the great state of TN her family was picked and 100% of all proceeds from the restaurant, the fleet feet store, as well as specially made shirts went toward purchasing a specially made prosthetic limb for her so she can get back into running. If you aren't familiar with Amputee blade runners, its a non profit organization that helps provide free running limbs for amputees since this is something that insurance does not cover. The Nashville chapter had agreed to design one specifically for Erika with all the proceeds from 4/28/13 as well as had a few of their runners who use the prosthetics there to join in on our run and answer any questions we may have.
some of the runners from nashville chapter
I'll admit, I forgot that they were doing this event yesterday, so when I arrived and couldn't find a parking spot ANYWHERE I was a bit perplexed. I've been going to Tin Roof runs on and off for the last 1.5 years, and I could proudly say that this was by far the BIGGEST crowd (both running, supporting, and diners) I have ever witnessed.
Before we kicked off the run they talked about Erika and her family and I couldn't help but shed a few tears, I can't imagine what it would be like to lose a leg, and hearing her personal story made it more real. As we set off for one of our routes, I ran alongside one of the blade runners Brandon. (3rd from left in photo) We talked for a mile and he let me know that he was diagnosed with bone cancer when he was in highschool. His leg was amputated and he was miserable because he was active on the football team and that wasn't something he could do competitively anymore. He got his prosthetic running leg 2 years ago and was slowly working at getting used to it. He ran in the Country Music 1/2 marathon this past week (my recap still to come) and ran a 1:55!!! He finally feels like he's an athlete again and can't wait to get even faster.
I was actually taking it super easy that night and couldn't keep up with him so I told him go on without me to which he sped along and I never caught back up. After the run I definitely felt more appreciative of my tired sore legs--- they may not always work the way I want to, but I'm lucky they work at all. I think too often we take the little things for granted and need to remind ourselves how very lucky we are.
B and P are still recovering from injuries, so they met up later to eat so they could still show their support. We also purchased these awesome shirts since 100% of those profits went into the grand total as well
I'm incredibly excited to see what the grand total raised will be and although its just going to one family, I'm happy to take part in what I could to make her running dreams a reality again!!