Last Friday, for World Down Syndrome Day, we participated in a virtual run/walk event sponsored by Research Down Syndrome Runners. The virtual run/walk happened anywhere and you could make your own variation of 3-2-1. The mom who organized our event set it up as a 3.21 mile run/walk.
Lucas heard me talking about the event we were doing and that you could run for 3 min and 21 sec, you could walk around your block 3.21 times, you could run 3.21 miles etc. He said he wanted to run for 3 min and 21 sec.
So Joe and Lucas started out running with the other runners. Joe set his stop watch. When 3 minutes and 21 seconds were up he told Lucas they could stop running and finish it out by walking. He said Lucas just looked up at him with a big smile on his face ... and kept running. And kept running. Joe was wearing jeans, so he stopped running. Lucas hung in there with the race organizer and ran the whole 3.21 miles in about 30 minutes.
We had no idea that he was going to do that, much less that he could do it. He basically ran a 5K out of the blue. So proud of my little guy!
Later he asked "Is that run only on Down Syndrome Day?"
I told him that particular one was, but there are a lot of runs that happen all the time. He said he wanted to do another run.
I told him he was going to be like his dad running races for Research Down Syndrome. I pointed out the logo on all of our shirts and how people run for RDS to raise money; then the money goes to scientists and researchers who are studying Down syndrome and how to help people with Down syndrome. I asked him if he wanted to run like that - to run for RDS and raise money for them.
He was excited and said "Yes!" I turned to Kayla and said, "Kayla isn't that nice of Lucas? He wants to run for Down syndrome and raise money that will help people with Down syndrome."
Lucas chimed in, "Kayla I'm going to help you. I'm going to run for you!"
I love his heart. And I know there is an organization called I Run 4, where you can sign up and be matched to run for someone - but you can't request who you want to run for and you can't chose your own family member.
Maybe when he's older Lucas can get involved in something like that and run for someone else, but I love that right now ... he wants to run for his sister.
Joe is planning on running the Air Force marathon for the 3rd time and
he also won the lottery for a bib number for the Marine Corps Marathon
... maybe one day Lucas will be running marathons with Joe.
In the meantime I'm signing him up for his first event: The Cooper River Bridge Kids Run.
But it won't be just Lucas; I'm signing Kayla up too. She signed up for the Running Club at school because 2 of her friends go and she wanted to go too. She just went to her first meeting and seemed to enjoy it. They practice running a mile and improving on their time each week. Kayla is active, but she's not quite a runner (she's just like me). She runs, but in spurts. And her running gait isn't very fluid. But this kids run is a mile, not a 5K. I think she can handle running/walking a mile; and I will be there to help encourage her.
Lucas was excited at the prospect of raising money, but he also wanted to know, "But do I have to send them ALL my money?" When I said yes, he sighed, "Ah man." Then I told him it's not actually his money, but money people donate to RDS in his name - for running a race. They support him with a donation and he supports RDS by running. So for their first event they'll both be running for RDS, but Kayla will also be running for herself. Self-advocacy has to start somewhere!
I've set them up with a Crowdrise page if anyone would like to donate a little something to their efforts. Thank you!
Fundraising Websites - Crowdrise