And we're off!
Wait. Let's back up just a bit. May 14 was a big race day in the Treasure Valley. Hundreds participated in the Famous Idaho Potato Marathon event running 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon races. Others, myself included, ran in Homedale. We had no race clock nor bib numbers. Nobody strapped a chip timer to his or her ankle. There were no prizes or free stuff at the end of the race except for a paper cup full of water. Or was there a prize?
The event, Angel Walk, was held in honor and support of Angel Rios-Salas, a second grader at Homedale Elementary suffering from Stage II Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Friends of the family organized the event. When I arrived about 45 minutes prior to the race to register and receive my “Angel Walk” t-shirt, I heard music and observed a small band. Children were cavorting and soon engaged in tug-of-war games with bragging rights going mostly to the young ladies! I am sure the boys were letting them win. Angel's second grade teacher emceed the event and his classmates sang The Star Spangled Banner. I cried when Angel and his parents were ushered on stage and smiled when Angel refused, with a grin and a shake of his head, to say anything to the crowd.
Then we ran, because we could. Others walked, because they could. Many of his friends rode their bikes three miles to support Angel, because they could. It was a beautiful day for a race and a wonderful way to celebrate life and to support a young man who is fighting for his.
|Snake River in Homedale|
When asked, “Why Idaho?” I often think of the mountain peaks, the lakes and rivers, and even the high desserts that form this land, but if I stop to truly reflect on Idaho, my answer ought to be, “Because angels walk here.”