SPOKANE — Mother’s Day came early this year, and it was a real winner.
Both of my daughters, Traci and Tiffany, ran with me in the Lilac Bloomsday Run on May 2.
They’d caught me by surprise when Traci showed up from California for the event. But once I caught my breath, we were off and running.
“Look at these pink sweatshirts,” I raved. “They’ll be perfect to wear at the race with the black shirts you two bought for the three of us!”
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The girls rolled their eyes. This was beginning to remind them of their childhood; the occasions as little ones when I’d dress them to match.
Sometimes I’d even join in.
Here we were again — without the ruffles. Sunday morning found us in black capris, baseball hats and our bright pink as we stepped across the starting line.
For the first three miles, we edged forward through the crowd, running as quickly as the masses would allow. When we’d lose sight of each other for a moment, the pink sweatshirts would catch our eye.
But by Mile 4 my knee started to ache.
“Mom, how are you doing?” Tiffany asked as we rounded a curve. She’d noticed that I’d begun to limp.
I heaved a sigh and told the girls that I’d have to slow my pace, but they could go on without me.
“You know,” Traci assured me, as I grimaced with pain, “it’s not about the run time. It’s about having fun.”
So we did.
We took pictures on “Doomsday Hill,” we stopped to dance with a rock band — my painful knee momentarily forgotten — and we chatted alongside each other as we walked and jogged the miles.
And when the finish line came into view, the three of us — mother and daughters — raced across it with a final burst of speed. Tears filled my eyes at the significance of this moment.
As finishers of the race, we’d have three new matching shirts to wear!