Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Falmouth Road Race Weekend - Part 1: All You Need is Love - On a Mission!
We left early on Friday morning to head to Falmouth for Falmouth Road Race Weekend. Tom raised $1655 for The Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation and he was well trained to go the 7 miles from Woods Hole to Falmouth. I packed a Kindness Rock for Joey and Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation Mission Cards along with everything we'd need for race weekend.
Our dear friend and teammate Kevin LaCoste and his wife Ali were supposed to join us in Falmouth before he suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury after falling out of a tree while playing with his children. We wore our #lacostestrong t shirts that are being used to raise money as well as support Kevin and Ali during Kevin's recovery at Spaulding Rehab.
After a stop for breakfast at one of our favorite places Crabapples, we stopped at the 7/11 Store where we have a tradition of buying our Megabucks Ticket and a scratch ticket whenever we go to Falmouth. After seeing the sweet shy young woman behind the counter we knew it was the perfect place to spread the Joseph Middlemiss "All You Need is Love" Mission! We bought two $5 scratch tickets and handed one to her. She was shocked at first and then I gave her the mission card. She had tears in her eyes and her once expressionless face beamed with a smile! Tom took this photo. I thought there was something weird on his phone lens but it’s not!!!
We stopped by The Falmouth Inn to get our check in time and went to the beach before heading to the Expo.
I placed our Kindness Rock in a beautiful space having special significance since Tommy Leonard, founder of The Falmouth Road Race passed away in January:
When we returned on Saturday, it was gone. I love the mystery of who might have found it and how it will send ripples of kindness and love out into the Universe.
Before leaving the beach, we took our #lacostestrong photos sporting our t-shirts. The sale of these tees raised over $13,000 for Kevin and Ali:
It was time for the Expo and I could feel the excitement of Race Weekend pulsating throughout Falmouth.
We arrived a few minutes before the Expo opened and this was the line to get in:
I was Facebook messaging with Brian Baker who has run Falmouth 41 consecutive years. We were Facebook friends who had never met in person. We were hoping to meet up at the Expo or at some point during the weekend.
After Tom got his bib we stopped to take these photos. It was Kevin's first day at Spaulding and here was a sign for Kevin that Team LaCoste was going to be with us throughout the weekend:
Although the Expo had just opened, it was bustling with activity. We made our way to the Team Big Heart tent and while en route bumped into Geoff Smith, Boston Marathon Champion and record holder for the Bermuda 10K. We became friends with Geoff en route to Bermuda in January of 2016. We talked about the changes happening with Bermuda Marathon Weekend and while we were having our conversation, our Team Captains Linda and Brad Gilbreth came along. We met the Gilbreths at the starting line of the 2018 Bermuda Half Marathon!
I love synchronicity and whenever Team Big Heart is around, synchronicity abounds.
We went to our Team Tent and were greeted with hugs by Andrea Ketcham Walsh, Public Relations Director/Executive Board Member and her partner Rob Conlon:
Falmouth Road Race Race Director and good friend, Dave McGillivray stopped by and we were able to share a few moments of quiet conversation together about the recent loss of his brother and my daughter's struggles with mental and physical health challenges. Dave is one of the kindest and most authentic people you would ever hope to meet.
We hadn't seen Kathy Boyer and Dick Hoyt in awhile since we'd been away from the running circuit while trying to support our daughter in her recovery. I remember the first day we met at the Hyannis Race Expo in February 2009. Dick resonated to my story and as often happens in the running community, we became friends. Tom bought a Team Hoyt Boston shirt and had Dick sign it for him. We talked about Kevin, my daughter and Rick's recent illness, shared hugs and tears and the excitement of Race Weekend.
On our way back to our hotel we stopped for a light lunch.
"Look at how that guy is parked," Tom said as we pulled into a handicapped space on the other side of the car. Please be aware that I only use my Handicap Placard in certain instances such as needing to park near our room to unpack the car.
"That's terrible," I said. "He doesn't have a placard or a plate."
As I got out of my side of the car, I saw that he was getting ready to transfer to his wheelchair.
"Don't say anything," I said to Tom. "He's got a chair."
As so often happens at Race Weekends, we struck up a conversation.
I gently asked Bill if he had a plate or a placard.
He thanked us for reminding him. "I have my wife's car and she has a placard." We helped him to put it up since he had already gotten into his wheelchair on the ground.
We said so long and after unpacking Tom and I stretched out for our afternoon meditation.
As the alarm went off at 4:30, I realized I had forgotten that we needed to pick up our bibs and t-shirts for the Falmouth Walk in the morning.
We wouldn't have time to get them before dinner with Linda and Brad. Fortunately we could pick them up in the morning.
We met Linda and Brad at The Flying Bridge where the time and conversation flew by. We talked about running, family, work, Team Big Heart, injuries and healing injuries and savored delicious food.
I had a moment where I became tearful being at the restaurant that was our daughter's favorite place to eat in Falmouth and they surrounded us with love and kindness.
We were remembering how we met in Bermuda and in awe of the synchronicity. We also talked about Diane McDonald, a member of Team Hoyt and how one year she flew down to Bermuda to get out of the Boston cold for a quick trip to get in a training run for Boston.
As we were leaving The Flying Bridge, guess who we bumped into? None other than Diane!
After saying our goodbyes for the evening, Tom and I drove by the beach savoring this magnificent scene:
We returned to our hotel with full bellies and full hearts excited for our first ever Falmouth Walk.
To be continued...
To your health and wellness
From my heart to yours
Be sure to visit my website at www.marymcmanus.com
Hear my interview with Kendra Petrone on Magic 106.7's Exceptional Women Show by following this link
My books are available on Amazon and "Feel the Heal" and "The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953" are available in Natick Center Cultural District at Paula Romero Dunbar's Celebration Boutique Paper Fiesta coincidentally located on Mile 10 of the Boston Marathon Route.