Mother Goose at the Marathon

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…
Stay tuned.

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And God bless you today.

Love, Mother Goose

The Race That’s Good for a Goose

Mother Goose woke up before the 5:30 alarm this morning and began preparing for her first 5K race. Truly I began preparing back in December by walking. Then I added a little running and then more and more running, but still mostly walking. And, shocking as it may sound, Mother Goose only walked a half a block during The Race That’s Good For Life.

I have never even attended a race before. We arrived in plenty of time to enjoy the circus of pre-race activities. The serious runners were warming up. Mother Goose is a serious runner.

It's so important to warm up before a big race.

At least thousands of racers at the Women's Event...

And before you could say “Mother Goose Smiles”, it was time to bunch up at the Starting Line.

Mother Goose flapping with adrenaline-fed excitement.

The gunshot! The shouts of joy! And off we go!

Mother Goose ran. I ran as quickly as an old goose could ever run. The cheering spectators really gave me energy to do my very best. Limping at first because of my recent ankle injury, I decided to push through the pain. Before I reached the one-mile marker, I was limping with both feet, and that actually helped me to establish a strange sort of rhythm. Surprisingly enough, breathing and leg cramps were not a problem for this goose!

Dear family members somehow showed up out of nowhere, running along the sidewalk beside Mother Goose! THAT really cheered me and gave me an extra burst of energy. AnnaRose was ringing a cowbell! Mark and Jessi were snapping pictures as if I was a world-class runner. Imagine! My first mile was about 12 minutes. Imagine!

There she goes, blonde feathers flowing in the wind.

Mother Goose followed the other runners and lost track of where she was in the course. Running west? North? South? I had no idea, but my legs kept going and going. We passed the second mile marker — 13 minute mile. People passed me up, and I just figured I must be the last one to be running down the street. I never looked behind me.

Eventually my running gait became a cute little shuffle, but the Finish Line was in sight! Time to step on the gas, Mother Goose! Time to kick some bootie on the course!

Go! Go! Go!

And then across the line!

(Very exciting video posted on April 2nd, Crossing the Finish Line.)

And there I was flapping and honking and hobbling and crying. What an incredible feeling of joy and exuberation! Probably the hardest work I’ve done since birthing babies, and like that experience, SO WORTH IT. They handed me a lovely rose for my efforts, and I nearly collapsed when my ankles said, “That’s the end of us, Mother Goose.”

I’m having a bit of couch time this afternoon, sipping a bit of wine and snacking on some Dominos pizza whilst I recover from this amazing event. I thank you all for your GREAT support of Mother Goose! I’m thankful to Jesus who never left my side during the race! A huge thanks to Mr. Mother Goose and daughter Jessi for capturing the glorious hour for me to share! It’s so wonderful to have hundreds of friends around the world pulling for me and carrying me through my first 5K race. And there will be more racing, I promise you that!

May the Lord bless you and keep you today! Love, M.Goose

Important Stats for a Goose

  • 78,283 honks to date

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