I always believed that the running community included some of the best people in the world, and after this weekend that belief was confirmed without a doubt. I witnessed one of the the kindest efforts on behalf of our local youth that I have ever experienced.
Chuck and Maggie Griffis are active in the running community in Lexington, Kentucky. They own property on St. George Island and are also close friends with John Culbertson, a runner who recently moved to St. George from Lexington. They read about our local youth running club the “Tate’s Hell Track Club” in the local newspaper to which they subscribe and also heard John speak about our group.
After learning how we have to fund our high school track and cross country programs with little support from the school system they decided they wanted to help. So they solicited donations from many local businesses and individuals and scheduled a 5K race, The Heart, Glove and Sole Run in Lexington on Feb 12th. This is for a group of kids that they had never even seen or met!
I had to meet these people, so up to Lexington my son and I went. We were met at the airport by Chuck and Maggie and taken to our hotel room which was provided by the group. Tyler and I felt like celebrities. A nice surprise awaited us when we found out John had driven up that day to join us.
Race morning was cold, damp and breezy, so we layered up and headed to the course. There we met many hardy BLUEgrass runners and volunteers out to brave the very harsh conditions on our behalf. John, Tyler and I participated in the race with 86 total runners in a fast field. The course was challenging with steep hills combined with the wind and 30 degree temperature.
Later that day we saw the sights in Lexington and were treated to a Mediterranean dinner complete with a belly dancer. We were joined by Chuck and Maggie and several BLUEgrass runners. At dinner, I was presented with the proceeds form the event that totaled $1455.00. I was extremely humbled, to say the least.
We had some time before our flight the next day so I opted to join their sunday morning running group. I got a 10 mile tour of Lexington, which went by Henry Clay’s estate and other historic homes. Then it was back to FLA. This was one of the most heartwarming experiences that I have ever had.
I want to express my gratitude to John, Chuck and Maggie, and all the BLUEgrass runners and volunteers and Lexington folks who did this for our kids. What wonderful people.