Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Grace Race Goes Global!

While Kyle was golfing in the TEAM golf tournament this morning in Raymond, Grace and I decided to help stuff some of the race packets for A Grace Filled Journey 5K event.  It's hard to believe that it's only one week away!

Grace has her bib, and she's ready to roll!
Thanks to some very generous sponsors, those participating will not only get a purple Grace shirt, but also a drawstring bag, special race bibs, can cozies and a few other goodies.  Since Grace slept in some this morning, the volunteers were mostly done stuffing bags when we got there (they were already to the letter P).  But we got a chance to help a bit, and Grace enjoyed her supervisory duties that came with a donut for breakfast.

As of this blog, there are 520 participants signed up for the Grace race.  And we are so excited to see everyone next Saturday.  We feel so blessed to have so many of you on our Grace-Filled Journey.

Grace helped to supervise the packing of the race bags.
One thing that has really been fun to watch as people have signed up for this event is the virtual participants.  When Johnny and Emily started planning this, some of their friends said they wanted to join the fun, but couldn't get to Hillsboro that day. They wondered if we had ever thought of adding a virtual element, meaning that participants could sign up and run or walk wherever they were that day. How awesome is that!

As we started to add virtual states, the race literally went from coast to coast with Kyle's aunt and uncle the first to sign up in California, and some of Johnny and Emily's friends signing up to run in the nation's capital.  Then we added a participant in Alaska, Michigan, Texas, Nebraska, and the states continued to grow. Currently, there are runners signed up to participate on Sept. 5 in 16 different states. Although not officially signed up some Hillsboro residents will be walking a 5K that day as they await the birth of their grandchild, and some of Kyle's family signed up virtually in Missouri, but they will be in Florida that day and do the 5K there.  That makes 18 states - we're almost to participants in half the states!

The virtual map for participants.
Those participating represent the states of California, Nebraska, Illinois, Texas, Virginia, District of Columbia, Wisconsin, Alaska, Michigan, Arizona, Missouri, Georgia, Colorado, North Carolina, Montana, West Virginia, Utah and Florida. If you don't see your state on there, then get signed up today!

Then, I got a message from Kylie Walch of Raymond, who I had just interviewed for a story in the paper.  She is teaching in Mandalay, Myanmar in Asia for the next year and wondered if she could do the Grace race there.  We loved the idea of going global.  Another of my friends from high school, Kyle Stewart, will be joining the fun from London, England in Europe and Hillsboro native Allison Ernst will join the race from Melbourne, Australia.  

These are the signature bibs for the race.
So, not only will there be participants in nearly half the states this Saturday, there will be four countries on four continents as well, helping to raise awareness for INAD, literally around the world.

All the race goodies are in these bags.
There's always time to join the Grace Filled Journey too!  We've been packing race packets all weekend, so we may not get you a shirt or some of the goodies, but we'd love to have you join us in Hillsboro or represent your state on the virtual map.  I am SO excited to see all the photos from race day from around the world. For more information or to sign up, visit

And if you're not a runner or a walker, come out to Hillsboro High School that day anyways. Members of the Hillsboro Lions Club and the Hillsboro Sertoma Club will be serving up lunch. And there will be plenty of family friendly activities, including face painting, a bounce house, Ronald McDonald, Professor Longhair and more. All the kids activities will be free to everyone on race day as a way to say thank you to a very special community.

Grace said the race packets are ready to go!
I have lived in Montgomery County nearly my entire life, and have seen time and time again how the communities pull together when there is a need.  But until Grace was diagnosed with INAD, I had never been on this side of that. We have been so humbled by the generosity of the community in both organizing and supporting fundraisers since January, and I am proud to say we have raised more than $50,000 for the Washington University Research study. With your help, I know we can #beatINAD.

We'll see you at the race!


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