Tuesday, July 20, 2010

RUN... no, SWIM... no, RUN!!!

On any given early morning at the beach,
before the hoards of tourists fill every possible space,
you'll see empty stretches of sand...

being groomed and cleaned.

Empty beach chairs awaiting bodies smelling of coconut & Coppertone.

But the calm emptiness of Saturday's hot muggy morning was deceptive.
You see, if I just turn a bit to my left, this is what I'll see...

It's the Allen Stone Memorial Run Swim Run & 5k.
It wasn't always called the "Allen Stone" run.
The race started in 1999 as the "Brave Heart Run-Swim-Run",
and Allen Stone, a member of our local Navy SEAL team, competed.
It was to be his last race.
He died in a training accident.
His friends, also the race's organizers, changed the name of the race in his memory.

So, it's a race, right?
It involves people running along the beach.
You know what that means?

Team Hoyt VB (the Virginia Beach chapter of Team Hoyt),
led by Trey White, was there in full force.
3 of our kids were able to go.
I've written about them before, here & here, for example.
If you don't feel like going back & looking, I'll summarize:

Take a bunch of athletes with hearts big to bursting,
add in children & young adults with disabilities who couldn't participate in a race on their own,
throw in jogging strollers, inflatable boats, lots of planning and even more determination,
and the result is magic.
Magic for the kids who can escape their disabilities for a while.
Magic for the athletes who get to see the joy on their faces
at the feeling that there's nothing they can't do.
Wherever you are, if you have the opportunity, you should see see this at a race in your area.

I love that Team Hoyt refers to the kids as the athletes
and themselves as their pushers.

Anyway, I took 377 pictures, but after all, my family's motto is "more is better",
so I tend to get carried away.
Bear with me, I'll leave a few out. But just a few.
Okay, more than a few, but I like them all.
You can click on any picture to enlarge it.
As usual, they are unedited, straight from the camera
(except for a 3 crops).
Sorry RAD, I know that makes you crazy.

A good-hearted and generous benefactor
(I don't know who. Help me out Trey, I'd like to give them credit)
donated a trailer to Team Hoyt.
They've come a long way since a few strollers stuffed into the back of a pick-up truck.

edited to add: I have been told that the trailer was donated by
The Noblemen, a local philanthropic group of more people with
hearts big to bursting.



(shirtless men. yesssss...)

Can he get him to smile?


Since Allen Stone was a SEAL, their parachute team...

makes a jump in his memory.

There were 2 simultaneous starts - the 5k (on the boardwalk)
& the Run-Swim-Run (on the beach).
I was on the boardwalk for that part.

I want you to know that the swimmers are pulling those boats behind them.
That's incredibly hard to do.


No, wait, that's not right.
I think there's a better word.....

There's exhaustion.
There's exhilaration.
There's the task for those same exhausted & exhilarated people
to get everything back in the trailer.


Thanks to those of you who stuck it out to the end.
Participating in this uplifted me.
Thanks to Trey White & Team Hoyt for making this possible.


Rosie Hawthorne said...

This is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Guess I don't have to feel bad about missing the annual run - you can take the shots! Keep at it. Really looking forward to introducing you around the other photo geeks this weekend.

Sista G said...

As usual, you're pictures are GRRRRRRRRREAT, baby! But...377 pictures - you are possessed! I love the last two most of all.

Kathy said...

Rosie - thank you. It was wonderful to be there.

RAD - thank you, but you are irreplaceable. I'm looking forward to this weekend. See you tomorrow.

Sista - thank you. There's a reason for 377 pictures. You have to take tons of pictures to get the few good ones. The magic of digital is the 'delete' button. I took 5 or 6 pictures of little J's hand on the runner's hand. That one was my favorite. I took 5 or 6 pictures of the standing lifeguards out in the water. I took 5 or 6 pictures of one of our boys until I got a smile. RAD, back me up here.

Anonymous said...

I'll back you up that you must shoot continuously, but Sista G is correct that 300+ photos is too much to post on a blog entry. You need to be more choosy on what you post. You should add a gallery, linked to your blog, especially now that your a big-time photographer and particpating in international photo events. IBWC is on me tonight. Looking forward to finally having you visit my part of the NoVa area.

Anonymous said...

That would be "you're" a big-time photographer. It must be two erly fer my speling jean. ;-)

Kathy said...

RAD, did I PUT them all on the post? NO. I only put 106 on the post. It was a special occasion ;-)

Kathy said...

HA! I even added TWO. MORE. PICTURES! So there. Nyah.