Thank you for all that have served! City Stadium Run for Veterans 2013

This morning was the second annual City Stadium Run for Veterans here in Green Bay.  This year all proceeds for the event go to support the USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program and all that it does for these true American heroes.  From the City Stadium Run website:   

” The USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program mission is to organize and administer an ice hockey program that provides a recreational, therapeutic, and educational experience for those wounded in the defense of the United States. This team represents some of our nation’s bravest and most determined heroes, soldiers, and veterans. These young men have suffered severe injuries, including amputations, while serving in the military. Through extensive rehabilitation, they have become competitive athletes again with some veterans even sporting prosthetic legs and arms. The USA Warrior Ice Hockey has two teams: a sled team and a standing team. The sled team is comprised of warrior athletes who lost the ability to use their legs. The standing team consists of warrior athletes who have gain their ability to skate again even if it requires a prosthetic leg. Proceeds for this year’s run will help support in the purchasing of hockey equipment for these worthy athletes that we call our veteran heroes”

I felt honored to be part of this day for such a humbling cause.  Before the run we were talking with on of the players on the Warriors Hockey team. Mike Cain received the Purple Heart after losing his leg from a roadside bomb, he was determined not to feel sorry for himself.  He got back up and keeps moving forward. You can truly see that he does not let his disability get him down and he is living his life to its fullest potential.  I am going to have to make a point to check out one of their games this year!  Knowing what these athletes have gone through to get to where they are now really puts things into perspective!  I have had many days where I was not pleased with my run or left the gym disappointed with my workout.  But what if I didn’t have that opportunity to walk into that gym?  or lace up my running shoes and just go? 

Darrin’s last dash to the finish

Aside from running to support these amazing athletes, I also was running today with my family.  Darrin and John both decided to come out and join the 650+ other runners and walkers that were hitting the streets around City Stadium this morning.   Granted we were not running together but just knowing that we were all out there was a lot of fun.  A light rain fell about an hour before the run started and that helped to coll everything down a little, but by the time race time arrived, the humidity started to come back.  It was in the low 70’s but starting to get really sticky outside. I was not going to let this bother me.  I was ready to hit the road.  I felt great through the entire race and could really feel that it was going to be a good day.  Just as I was approaching the back side of City Stadium I was starting to feel it and was ready to be done.  I was averaging  about 9:30 minute miles but the humidity was starting to take it’s toll.  I ended up falling into step with another runner and I ended up running the last stretch of the race with him.  I was using him to keep my pace.  He didn’t realize it, but I was using him to push me to the finish (I would find out later when I was talking with him after the race that he was doing the same with me!). 

waiting at the finish line for my boys!

Just before I was entering the stadium, my phone told me that I hit 3 miles at less than 29 minutes!  I was going to do it!!  For the first time EVER I was going to finish a 5K with an official time of under 30 minutes!   I crossed the finish line feeling great, with the entire St Norbert College Men’s Hockey Team right on my heels.  I wasn’t about to let them catch me!  When I crossed the finish line, my app told me that I was at 0:29:44 – but I was going to have to wait for the official time.  I grabbed a water and headed back down to the field to wait for my boys to finish!  Darrin finished with a time of 44:11 and John finished just 3 minutes behind him!  YAY!!  Once they finished we caught up with some other friends that were also there for the event, grabbed some snacks and check our official times.  0:29:11!!  FINALLY!  for the first time, I actually finished a 5K in UNDER 30 minutes!  In fact, it was close to under 29!  Guess I know what my next goal is!One of the coolest things that they did this morning tho was the skydivers that were landing on the field at City Stadium after the race was finished!  They timed the landing to be after everyone was finished with their run/walk so no one missed the excitement.  3 ski divers decorated the sky, one carrying a POW/MIA, one carrying an American flag and the other bright streamers.  Watching these sky divers make their way to the ground while Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA played over the loudspeakers in the stadium was the best way to bring this morning to an end.Thank you to everyone that worked hard to make today’s even a huge success but more importantly, thank you to all that served  and sacrificed to give us all of the freedoms that we have today. 

The Green Bay Gambles Hockey team was on hand to catch the flag when it landed

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