Thank you, TEAM HOYT VB, for the opportunities you have made possible over the last SEVEN years! Ainsley and I will run her 96th road race at Rock n Roll VB and I would like to take a moment to recall the day when il this amazing journey began, back in August 2008.
As we drove to the oceanfront that summer morning, my mind raced with questions: Where exactly do we meet, will there be equipment for Ainsley, how much does it cost to run in the race, how do I sign up, is it too late for Ainsley to participate, will they have handicap parking, to name but a few....within a few hours, little did we know, our path of our lives will have changed forever.
Lori and the kids had made signs to cheer her on..."Beach ya can't catch us" the sign read. Shortly after arriving, all of the questions and uncertainties had clarity and Ainsley was ready to Roll as a Team Hoyt VB rider!
The director said go and she took off! I had never been to a race before, so I had no clue about registering for a bib. Hence, I was not registered and did not start running. Just as they disappeared out of sight down the oceanfront Boardwalk, Miss Peggy looked at me and said, "I thought you where running!?!?". I said that I don't have one of those sign thingies to put on my shirt. She looked at me and said, well I guess we can just stand here and wait....but, you do know this is a public Boardwalk? Hmmm, I thought, I guess I could go catch up with them (note: my intent was not to be what I know today is a bandit, if fact I frown on that practice). So, I took off down the board walk. As I reached the 1 mile mark, Ainsley had already reached the 1.5 mile turnaround and was approaching me at her mile 2. So, I turned around to run the final mile with her....so I thought. You see, Ainsley was flying! In fact, as the wind blew in her face she was smiling big, as if she realized she was actually in first place! I ran with her for a half mile...at a 6:30 minute mile pace...before turning to her angel and saying, "I can't keep up, don't let me slow you down, go, go go, she love it and she is going to win!" And with that, he increases tempo and sprinted her home to a first place finish! Yes, she won the race and that was very cool for her first race...but, she also won something so much more valuable that a race. Her first story behind the bib doubles as the story that started the first day of the rest of her life, as an ATHLETE!
Seven years later, oh how my list of questions from years ago have changed and oh how our lives have been forever changed! Thank you, Team Hoyt VB!
a forever grateful father.