These six women did an amazing thing this weekend. They ran – and when I say ran, I mean they ran 195 miles as part of the Southern California Ragnar Relay They were one of over 700 teams that competed. However, it gets MORE intense – most teams have twelve members on their team – not Team Sparkle – they were one of only 50 Ultra teams that use only 6 team members. Are they tough or what?!?! It was only fitting that they teamed up with Girl Power 2 Cure to honor girls with Rett Syndrome. Because, lets face it – girls and women with Rett Syndrome are some of the toughest people I know! Together Ragnar 4 Rett was born! They ran 195 miles for 195 girls with Rett Sydrome.
It was an amazing 24 hours! They set up a Tagboard so that everyone could follow along on this amazing journey via social media! I encourage you to check it out to see all of the amazing posts about the race! I absolutely LOVE the Ragnar4Rett van – isn’t this the coolest!?
I think the best part might have been the back of the van – where they wrote the names of each of the girls that they were honoring during the race. I have to say that this is the first time a set of van doors has moved me to tears!
This….well, this is Allison and her amazing daughter Emma. Allison was one of the six members of the team and I should mention that she is also a Rett Mamma. I am HONORED to call her my friend. She is an inspiration to so many people. I truly can’t thank her enough for all she does to educate those around her about Rett Syndrome and advocate for all of our girls.
See these pins? On each of those pins you will see beautiful faces of each of the girls. There were 36 legs to the race (each leg having various amounts of miles.) Like I mentioned earlier – each mile was in honor of a specific girl with Rett Syndrome. For each leg, the runner had a pin that included the girls photos for each mile. Talk about some inspiration for them! After each leg was completed they were pinning them to the back of this seat in the van. <ok – I have to admit – another first – a van seat moving me to tears>
(In case you have not picked up on it – this was a very emotional 24 hours for me – but more on that later)
One fun part of Ragnar Relay races are what they call “road kill” – this occurs when you pass another runner – they become your road kill. Which I think is just too funny. They tracked each roadkill on the hood of their van. However, for this team each road kill meant more that just a mark on their van with the hash marks. For every roadkill throughout the race that they added up – Sparkle Athletic was donating $5. Now THAT is some motivation to get out there and pass some runners!
I also loved that as they added new road kill – that runner was give one of these bracelets. “I was roadkill for Rett Syndrome” LOVE THESE!
Below is another photo of Allison – however this photo – along with the button she is wearing is a bit more meaningful. During the last of Allison’s six legs of the race she ran in memory of four amazing girls that lost their battle with Rett Syndrome. Remember how I said she was tough – yep. I can’t even imagine the emotion of these four miles. What a gift to the families of these girls. What a gift to all of us mommas that live daily fighting Rett Syndrome. Livvy, Anna, Emma Claire, And Karly are in my heart and on my mind so often – but during these four tear filled miles – they were on my mind continuously. So were their families – of which are friends of mine, part of my Rett Syndrome family. I cant even put in to words the love I have for all of them (and always will!)
As the final mile approached – it was not run for a specific girl with Rett Syndrome but rather for all of the girls that are yet to be diagnosed. Girls that will be joining our Rett Syndrome family, joining our fight to END Rett Syndrome forever. It is estimated that every 90 minutes a little girl is born with Rett Syndrome. Like us, the family will not know it when they are born. They will watch as their daughter begins to sit up, crawl, speak her first works, walk, and feed herself – only to have Rett Syndrome kick in and regression take all of that away. But my hope is that they can connect with us, with amazing organizations like Girl Power 2 Cure and our system of support, our system of love and hope, and most of all our belief that our cure is coming!
I just can’t describe what those 24 hours were like for me. I spent many of those hours online – following the posts, chatting with other Rett Syndrome moms. All of us rallying together to cheer on these amazing women who were running for our girls. Our girls who were their inspiration to keep putting one foot in front of the other as the pain and exhaustion kicked in with each mile. And they DID IT. They ROCKED those 195 miles and I just cant thank them enough.
Thank you ladies for allowing our girls to be your inspiration, for raising an awesome amount of awareness for Rett Syndrome throughout the race, and an amazing amout of money that is being donated to RSRT for Rett Syndrome research (over $28,000 and counting!) and for encouraging, empowering, and renewing my strength throughout the entire process. And I want to say a special thank you to Elise for her mile #108 that was in honor of Brooklyn. Brooklyn inspires me every single day of my life and I am so glad that she was able to be your inspiration too….even if only for a mile.
There is STILL time to donate if you would like! You can make your donation in honor of Brooklyn via her GP2C page: www.gp2c.org/brooklyn