The first time I ran a 5K race I cried - for myself. It was cold and wet. I was exhausted. I was stunned at my sense of accomplishment. Today as I ran another 5K race and I cried again. This time, not for myself, but for Angel and for all of the people supporting him.
Angel has cancer. The Angel Walk was organized in his behalf. His second grade teacher emceed the event. His classmates sang "The Star Spangled Banner." His elementary principal gave some thoughts. Friends of the family organized the event. Many in his community turned out to support him - runners, walkers, and kids on bicycles; young and old alike. Local law enforcement stopped traffic to ensure the safety of those participating.
When Angel accompanied his parents to the stage, he grinned - and I cried. When asked, repeatedly, if he would like to say anything, he shook his head, stunned and maybe a bit embarrassed over the attention.
Then we ran, because we could. Others walked, because they could. Many of his young friends rode their bikes for three miles to support Angel, because they could.
It wasn't a huge event with chip timers and free chocolate milk at the end. Nor can I view my stats online. It wasn't even a true 5K (Much to my disappointment. My time was really fast!) but it was a wonderful way to celebrate life and to support a young man who is fighting for his.
Hats off to Homedale and all the friends of Angel Rios-Salas!