Tara Griggs wrote -
Next Event: Hartford Marathon 5K Petit Run for the Girls (over 20 runners this year!)
Iron Horse 10K - Finish Time (58:09)
O'Hartford 5K- Finish Time 28:09 (March 20, 2011)
April 2011 Burn Calories For Fuel - Finish Time 26:18 (April 9, 2011)
Glastonbury River Run (April 23, 2011)
Petit Run - July 2011
My dad was a runner. As the youngest of 3 daughters, my fondest memories are the "Fun Runs" he would bring us to in our local town and we would all run them side by side. I loved them. As a little girl we would all gather under a tree at our local recreation center at the end of each race while the announcer said our names and we would walk up and get little blue, red, green or yellow ribbons. I remember running the route which took us on a little path, and my dad would tell me when I hit the white chalk line, I would need to turn around and run back. That would be a mile...yet, he would continue on. I remember always wondering what was beyond that white chalk line and I would see rows of houses and runners run beyond it. It was a big world in my eyes and I wanted to see it. But I listened and turned around and ran back the way that I came- across the finish line to my mom, waiting for my dad and sisters.
As an adult, I began to run again. In 1997 I started slow...I started training with my dad who did his fair share of running including the Philadelphia Marathon amongst others. This one particular day we were at Simsbury High School and as I rounded the first circle of the track, I looked to my side and my dad wasn't there. He had stopped and went back to the bleachers for a rest. Unusual for my dad, a star racquetball player and avid runner. Sadly, later that year he suffered a heart attack and passed away. He was already in the stages of heart disease.
So I put my sneakers on the shelf...for a long while. But when the Hartford 1/2 Marathon presented itself in 2009 and a cause I know my father would support became part of my heart and soul-- I decided to run again. It was an amazing way to clear my head, take time for myself and give back in some way. I ran for the Petit Family Foundation and my daughter and I raised close to $5,000. We'd love to do that again.
Dr. Bill Petit and his girls, Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela have shown the world that love conquers evil. That there are good people left in the world. That when people come together they can move mountains. When we see the best in everyone and everything...powerful things can happen.
This year I am going to try and dedicate myself to running one race each month with an annual goal of raising $5,000 to the Petit Family Foundation to help support their causes. You can read more by going to http://petitfamilyfoundation.org/.
I hope when you think of what charities you may donate to this year, that this may be one of the charities of your choice. Little Michaela used to love the saying "You Must Be The Change You Wish To See In The World"- Mohandis Gandhi. Big words for a Big Heart. I hope you'll join me.