This was the moment we had been waiting for, training for!...The Jr. Bix7 race, Vada's first!
We arrived early and had time to get a perfect place in line...right in front!
Vada had all of her biggest fans with her and we were ready to cheer her on!
Somehow this beautiful girl of mine caught the eye of an amazing woman, Joan Benoit Samuelson!!! For those of you who don't know who that is she won the GOLD at the 1984 summer Olympics, which was also the first year that the woman's marathon was introduced, making her the first-ever woman's champion. Joan has an overwhelming list of achievements and having spent about a half an hour speaking with her I couldn't help but be impressed with how down to earth and laid back she was.
We waiting for about an hour watching the other ages do their races before Vada's age group was up and believe me, once it was her turn, she was ready!
Vada was in the "Special Needs" sections and as it turns out for the three year olds, Vada was the only racer. She began the race for the three year olds and had a small head start. You should have heard the crowd chear for her! It was AMAZING! As we were passing by complete strangers were clapping and yelling for her to "go, go, go!", I even heard children excited for her. It was great! She was great! And you know what? She went. She ran her little heart out and she didn't stop until she reached the end! (A whole seventy yards!)
Look at that face! I love it! She was SO excited! I kept yelling "You did it, you did it! Your all done!"
The lady holding the medals reached out to give Vada her very own medal but Joan grabbed it and said that she wanted to give it to her!
Vada stood still and proudly awaited her prize.
Joan and I told her what a good job she had done. Joan was really impressed that she had run the entire length and said that she should continue to run/race. I agree. I then told Vada why she got the medal and then as if completely understanding what I was saying she lifted her medal and looked at it and laughed.
...and then she hugged it!!!