Congratulations to all who participated in the Leprechaun Five Miler at the Surf Club this past weekend. And congratulations to the top finishers! More on them in a minute ...
First, I wanted to give special congratulations to Colleen Kelly Alexander who, accompanied by her friend Erin, finished the Leprechaun Two Miler Sunday. Both former triathletes, they would have loved to run Sunday, but they couldn't just yet, so they walked. Colleen, as you may remember, is recovering from . She almost died. But she didn't. And now, to fully recover.
Colleen and Erin had huge smiles on their faces as they finished the two-mile walk, Erin with a firm hand on Colleen's gaily-decorated walker. Colleen tells us that Erin herself is in the process of recovering from a terrible accident a year and a half ago. Both of them are using the determination and grit they developed as accomplished athletes to help them recover.
"A gift," but one that was bittersweet
"Sunday was a gift," said in a recent Facebook inbox message. "I was able to walk with a woman named Erin ... She and I met through mutual connections and have become friends. It was bittersweet to walk with her as we are both used to racing ... so we made the best of it ... dressed up ... laughing ... and embracing what we have overcome."
Monday, Colleen faces yet another huge operation to fix parts of her body that were massively damaged in the October accident. "The surgeon told me to expect to 'hate him' for two weeks as the pain will be severe," she wrote.
As tough as she is, she's worried about more pain. She's been through a lot of that already. It wears you down after a while, as anyone who has experienced acute and then chronic pain can tell you. After this surgery? Recovery and then more surgeries.
Planning how to give back to those who are helping her heal
"I am trying to remain positive," she wrote.
As she regains energy and strength, she's started getting involved in activities she is passionate about. She's planning a cycling tour for Gaylord Hospital. She wants to thank the people who work there for their remarkable ability to help her and others heal. Without them, she says, she would not be as far along as she is now. She also recently got involved with a Clinton cycling and pedestrian club.
The projects give her a little something to look forward to as she spends most of her time continuing to recover, going to medical appointments, and working her way back to a place where she can do more on a regular basis. That won't be for a while.
Working through her fear, asking for support
She can't yet work since she still has so many surgeries ahead, but, she says, "I want to keep volunteering and giving back."
Colleen asked that I keep her, and her rock of a husband who has been with her all of the way, in my prayers Monday. "After being in a coma [after the accident] ... I have a fear of surgery more than ever ... and not waking up. Please also keep Sean in your prayers, as he continues to be my solid rock," she said.
I'll be doing that, starting Sunday night. If that's your thing too, your prayers and good thoughts are welcome as well. Let's send some positive energy their way.
An "awesome," "great" race for an awesome, great cause
Judging from comments posted on the Leprechaun Five Miler's Facebook page, Colleen and Erin weren't the only participants who ended the race with a smile on their face. Participants described it as "awesome," "great," and "fun." Proceeds from the race will be put towards an awesome, great cause ... the Madison Exchange Club's fight against child abuse and the organization's service programs. To find out more about their programs of service, you can check out this web page.
Top finishers in the Leprechaun Five Miler include the following, according to the results page:
1 Jeremy Brown, Durham CT
2 William Zucconi, Madison CT
3 daniel Davenport, Guilford CT
4 John Moyher, Higganum CT
5 Larz Selmer-Larsen, Oakdale CT
6 Derek Torrellas, Branford CT
7 Janelle Nadeau, Madison CT
8 Jonathan Ingalls, Clinton CT
9 Alan MacDougall, Branford CT
10 Kurt Lindboom-Broberg, Newington
Division race results can be viewed on this page.
Congratulations to all runners and walkers who participated!