I felt the wind in my feathers as it gusted off Lake Michigan, and I was chilled to the bone with the cold mist in the air. But I stayed with the pack and didn’t falter as I volunteered to help with the Soldier Field 10 mile marathon this past weekend. Perhaps you were beginning to think that Mother Goose was out RUNNING ANOTHER marathon…
Sometimes she runs, and sometimes she volunteers to hand out water to the amazing finishers of the race.
As the sun rose over beautiful Lake Michigan and over the exhibit tents in the after-race area, we donned our official T-shirts over our hoodies and leather jackets in preparation for our volunteer service.
This was the tenth year of the Soldier’s Field 10 Mile, and a record number of runners took the challenge. In fact, Mother Goose handed water bottles to 17,500 thirsty, dehydrated and depleted runners in Chicago on Saturday morning. WOW!
Husband Goose and myself arrived at the historic stadium at the appointed and nearly ungodly time of 5:00 a.m. to check in with the wonderful people from Salute Inc. Salute Inc. was one of the honored beneficiaries of this race which is almost to say that not only did they sponsor it, but it was a fundraiser for them. A pretty huge fundraiser, for sure.
Our very first event was to assist in the Kids Blitz. Those little kids were so excited to actually be on the ground, on the exact field where their favorite team, the Chicago Bears play. In fact, it was pretty surreal for Mother Goose, too!
And then we volunteers built a wall of water right there in the stadium, right in the end zone, in the exact spot where so many football battles have been fought.
The first runner entered the arena and crossed the 50-yard line, the Finish Line, with a time of 49 minutes and 57 seconds! He ran TEN MILES in less than 50 minutes! I will tell you that Mother Goose ran her 5K (3.1 miles) last year with a finishing time of 42 minutes…not quite as fast. His name is Dan Kremske and he didn’t even look slightly exhausted, obviously he’s done this sort of thing before.
More and more runners crossed that finish line over the next three hours. Every single one of them a hero in their own right with stories to tell and battle scars to show off to family and friends. We were completely amazed at the endurance and the joy of these men and women. Of course, Mother Goose was completely disabled after her race — not at all full of vim and vigor to attend any sort of after-race party activities.
It was a GREAT TIME for everybody — runners received medals from the hands of American servicemen and women, the Gatorade and waters flowed sweetly. There were bananas all around for a little potassium lift.
We were inspired by the events of the day, and do not be surprised if you see Mother Goose crossing that 50-yard line next spring! Serving water to the runners is fun, but not as much fun as running on rubbery feet for ten miles along Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive…
And God bless you today.
Love, Mother Goose