Monday, September 30, 2019

The 6th Annual Middlemiss Big Heart 5K - Part I - Epic!

The 6th Annual Middlemiss Big Heart 5K posted this on Facebook early Saturday morning:

The beginnings of an absolutely beautiful day. In a few short hours this field will be full of over 1000 smiling, happy faces, and we can’t wait ! It’s going to be an absolutely beautiful race day ! Today is not only about a race but it is about a community coming together to support each other and there is nothing better then that ..❤️

From Race Director Dave McGillivray:
For so many reason, this morning’s Middlemiss Big Heart 5K, Celebrity Mile and Kid’s Fun Run were epic. All the folks dressed in Superhero costumes. The smile on the kid’s faces doing the fun runs. The generous celebrities returning to do the Celebrity Mile. About 20 inspiring Team Hoyt duo’s participating. The record field for the 5K. Add to that the surprise and public notification to Rick and Dick Hoyt that they will be inducted into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame in Tempe, AZ in January and the FaceTime live from Kevin Lacoste and what more could you ask for. The only bummer for me was after training all year to seek revenge and beat little Jack Middlemiss (my fellow heart warrior) in the Celebrity Mile and once again he nipped me at the finish line!! There’s always next year!

Scott had this to say about Jack's performance at the Celebrity Mile:

Kate Daigle Middlemiss only wanted Jack to run the first 50 yards of the Celebrity Mile. But, our beautiful, brave, and feisty heart warrior, who received his new heart on 2/16/18, had other ideas. Jack just kept going, and ran the whole quarter of a mile lap, edging out running legend, Dave McGillivray, at the finish line for the second year in a row! A special moment for our family. #becauseofadonor

An epic moment at the Celebrity Mile when Becca Pizzi, the women's winner, shared the moment with Chaz Davis:

From Ali LaCoste:
Yesterday was an all around beautiful day filled with emotion, support, care, and love. My Facebook feed was bombarded with pictures of hundreds of people supporting an amazing foundation. Though our families have experienced, though different, major tragedies, we were there- smiling, laughing, crying, missing our honored loved ones and being lifted by the hundreds of people who came to make sure we never felt alone. Reflecting- we had friends from all parts of our lives.... work, college, community- I only wish I had more time to talk to everyone for a longer time.

The Middlemiss family has helped us so much through this journey. Kate Daigle Middlemiss knows exactly what to say to me when I’m feeling hopeless or lost in despair. Scott Middlemiss has provided us with a plethora of support from cards, to items that make Kevin more comfortable, to an invaluable friendship that I know is built on much more than our sad stories.

Last night, after arriving at Spaulding, I shared, with Kevin, all of the posts, videos, and pictures from the race yesterday. He vowed to be there next year- and to race, in some capacity, in the future. I’m going to hold him to that promise.

Kevin LaCoste and Scott Middlemiss became fast friends 3 years ago when they teamed up as Principal and Vice Principal at the Col. Robinson School in Westford. This past July, Kevin suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury. Kevin ran two Boston Maporathons for The Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation.

On the eve of race day, Ali posted this on Facebook:
Tonight Kevin and I sat in his room at Spaulding and thought about the Middlemiss Big Heart 5k that we’ve been running for the past 3 years. When Kevin met Scott, and learned about Joseph’s beautiful, too short life, he immediately knew that this was a special team to join. He purchased a singlet before we left that first race- and hasn’t run a race since without representing team Big Heart. It’s become part of who he is. And the mission of the Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation has come out full force since Kevin’s accident. We can’t even fathom the number of people that his accident has affected- nor the number of people who have played a part in showing kindness to our family. Joseph would be so proud of his “team” as should his parents Scott Middlemiss and Kate Daigle Middlemiss. It’s truly the work of an angel. Our family will always keep this special boy and his mission close to our hearts.

Tomorrow, Natalie, Colin, and I will represent the “LaCoste Strong” team. We never thought we’d be in this position, but nonetheless, we are. We’ll wear our shirts proudly to honor Kevin and his fight. We’ll channel energy and love from Joseph and run ( or in my case- shuffle) those three miles for Kevin.

The 6th Annual Middlemiss Big Heart 5K was epic as an event and for individuals attending the event. It was a day to celebrate superheroes and the life of one very special superhero, Joseph Scott Middlemiss who left this world too soon at the age of 6 years old. We celebrated the strength of families triumphing over tragedy through community and the sport of running.

On a deeply personal level, it was an epic event for Team McManus. We ran our first race together since January of 2018. Our daughter Ruth Anne endured 14 hospitalizations rife with medication trials and error (mostly error) and no diagnosis until August of this year when the Divine guided me to identify that infections and an autoimmune response to infections causing inflammation in the brain were responsible for her neuropsychiatric condition.

On our way to Dracut from Brookline, I checked Facebook and saw this post from my dear friend David Brown:
shhh The bat car is in the shop but on my way to Dracut

When we arrived at the 5K, David seemed to appear out of nowhere. He introduced us to Chaz Davis, a visually impaired elite runner who was also running in the Celebrity Mile. Chaz went off and David and I took a few minutes to get caught up. He was so loving, kind and supportive of our journey.

As we headed to registration, we had a Bermuda-like reunion with Brad and Linda Gilbreth. When we met Brad and Linda at the starting line of the 2018 Bermuda Half Marathon, we knew we wanted to get more involved with Team Big Heart. We know in our hearts that Joseph brought us together. It was an emotional reunion as time almost stood still from that moment in January to September 28, 2019.

We made our way to registration for bib and t-shirt pick up and then headed to Team Zoe's table in the parking lot. Zoe had open heart surgery as an infant. She is doing well and we celebrate her as a heart warrior at the event.

There were magical connections and meet ups at ever turn.

We met Jane Rogers on line when Tom was running the Falmouth Road Race for The Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation. She saw my post about Kindness Rocks for Joey and how we were raffling them off for donations.. She thought they were awesome and made a donation. Even though she didn't win the raffle I gifted her one since Will, creator of Kindness Rocks sent me extras. After receiving the Kindness Rocks and learning more about the Foundation, she signed up to be part of Team Zoe. Tom and Jane met in person for the first time at the event!

As Dan Clark sang the National Anthem, we spotted Bea D'Angelo across the track.

During these past 3 years, Bea, a fellow member of L Street Running Club has followed Ruth Anne's journey praying for relief and that she find a healing path. It was an emotional reunion.

To be continued....

To your health and wellness
From my heart to yours

Be sure to visit my website at

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.

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