We had a fun weekend!! My Mom and Dad came down to our house Fri. night and Ryan ran in the Akron Marathon.
We had to be up at 4:00am on Saturday morning to get Ryan to downtown Akron for his running debut in the Akron Marathon's half marathon. My Mom and Dad stayed overnight at our house and got up with us. Stephanie (Ryan's girlfriend) got to our house a little before 5 and we were downtown Akron by 5:30. The race started at 7:00, but many streets were closed by 6:00 and some the night before, so we knew we had to get there early. We parked in a lot by Akron U and walked to the starting area. Here is a pic of the early morning crew in the parking lot.
|Papa Ron, Grandma Tommie, Ryan, Stephanie, and Mark. My Mom and Dad had on their Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation sweatshirts!!|
We got to the start area and there were tons of people and loud music blasting. Most people looked really sleepy. We saw Stephanie's Dad there. He was running a leg in the 5 man relay team. I hope he had fun! It was only about 50 degrees and still dark. They did have large lights set up. There were three corrals for the runners labeled A,B, and C. A was for the fastest runners, B for medium runners (Ryan was in this one), and C for slower runners. When you signed up for the race, you put what time you thought you would finish the race and that determined what corral you were in. They started 5 minutes apart so their wasn't a huge stampede and so there was space for everyone. I was so impressed with how organized it was and I read in the paper that there was not one problem with security. Ryan's team all wore the same shirts that were given to them by Lisa and David Craine. I made Ryan a headband that said Remembering Wo 3/6/86 - 6/9/13. They got to pick the number they wanted and Ryan picked 5 for the number of people in our immediate family.
We were pleasantly surprised to see Gio along with his brother Bruno and Bruno's fiancee, Jacqui near the starting area. Jacqui was in charge of the trash and recycling around the race area and Bruno and Gio were helping her. I think I hugged Gio for 10 minutes. I have missed him so much as did the rest of the family. He looked really good, but I could tell seeing us brought back a flood of memories as he had tears in his eyes. I had a pang of sadness as I saw him standing there by himself because Lauren was always by his side and still should be. I know it is still too hard for him to be around us, but it sure was nice to see him. Mark and I love that kid as if he were our own and wish nothing but the best for him. We all stood together and cheered the runners on as they started the race. It was so exciting. There were 15,000 runners all together for the marathon, half marathon, and 5 man relay teams. Kristen wished she could have been there, but she had to work the weekend. I'm sure she would have ran on the team as well.
|Our sweet Giovanni. Love him so much.|
|Before the race. So proud of my Bub.|
|The finish line.|
|The runners were all across the field. Hmmmmm. Where's Waldo, I mean Ryan????|
|Yay!!! We found him!!!!|
|Oh, how we miss seeing that smiling face.|