the wonderful world of veena.

08 December 2014

48 of 52: st jude memphis marathon weekend.

This weekend was the 14th annual [13th running; last year's race had to be cancelled because of inclement weather] St Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend, and I participated for the first time. When registration rolled around in the spring, I was still too scarred from the Little Rock half to commit to another, nor was I sure I would be in Memphis - or the States for that matter - so I signed up for the 5k.

In addition to signing up for the race, I pledged to be a St Jude Hero as part of Team Rhodes and fundraise for the hospital. My initial goal was to raise $500, and as of the writing of this post, I have raised $1304*, which has completely blown my mind [Team Rhodes has raised over $81,000!]. I have had friends and family from around the world donate anywhere from $5 to $200, and every dollar of it goes directly to the daily operating costs of the hospital.

[walking in to the expo]
In the leadup to race weekend there were various events in the city to get ready. There were Happy Hours and course previews and training runs at Breakaway, all to build a community of people dedicated to running and raising money for St Jude, and it all culminated this weekend. The expo began on Thursday, the Heroes Pasta Party was on Friday [and yes, I cried. that Rick Shadyac knows how to tell a story], and the races were on Saturday morning.

[lots of hungry pasta party go-ers]
The 5k start was at 7.15am, so we were downtown early to park, take a few pictures, and be in place when the gun went off. I finished in about 40 minutes, which I was pretty proud of considering I hadn't run in over a month. And the best part was that I finished before the half and full marathons began at 8am. I set up camp at AutoZone Park until Christina finished her leg of the relay, and then we chilled [and I mean chilled. it was cold] until others finished.

[team rhodes 5k participants]
We had a great vantage point from the bleachers behind home plate, and our friends began rolling in around 10.15 from the half. We stayed downtown until Whitney finished the full around 12.45, and then Christina and I picked up snacks before going back to her house and crashing on the couch until the Team Rhodes party in the early evening.

[the real heroes we run for]
It was a crazy but fun weekend, and it was great to see so many other people out there coming together to support St Jude. I was way more sore on Sunday than I should have been for having run a 5k, but it was entirely worth it.

other highlights included: breakfast at Pancake House with Dylan; Ladies' Night dinner at Blues City Cafe; my last day with the Carlson boys; brother bear's birthday; Friday lunch at Golden India; Central BBQ lunch with Winkates; DeltaCappella Holiday Concert; family dinner with the Carter-Walsh clan.

[the waffle that sent me into a food coma for nearly two hours]
[pretty remnants of fall] 
[throwback to the mysore palace as a bald-headed two-year-old] 
[memphis drivers. aren't they just fantastic] 
[mother-daughter nap time on a rainy friday afternoon. it's the stuff dreams are made of]
[some holiday cheer on beale st] 
[millie found out i was leaving. poor girl's going to miss me the most]
[found on the bench at central bbq. what a great motto for our team and our town]
After preparing for this weekend for nearly 8 months, it's crazy to think it's over. On to next year, I guess.

*you can make donations through the end of the year, so if you are inspired to donate to my fundraising efforts you may do so here. your generosity is much appreciated, by me and most especially by the doctors, researchers, families, and children of St Jude.

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