This year, at age 37, my sister Chris became something I never would have imagined (sorry, sis!): a runner. And last Saturday I got the chance to see her in action as she completed her first race: The Upper Saddle River Women’s Biathlon (it included 4 miles of running and a 9.6-mile bike ride).
When Chris told me a few months ago that she and “a couple moms from town” had signed up for a bike-run race, I was a little surprised—but I didn’t doubt for a second that she’d pull it off. This is the same woman, after all, who can manage the crazy schedules of three kids, lead a girl-scout troop, be a class mom, and still remember things like sending birthday cards and tucking notes in her kids’ lunch boxes. For two months, Chris and her pals trained, sharing plenty of laughs (and a few tears) as they ran and biked. And a quick word about those bikes—they were a sight! Chris cruised on a 17-year-old Trek mountain bike that she unearthed from the back of her garage; one of her friends rode her 12-year-old daughter’s cruiser; and another pedaled a10-speed that looked like the one I had in junior high. But the equipment didn’t matter—these moms were determined to finish.
On race day, my family and the families of Chris’ pals lined up on the side of the road to cheer our hearts out.
When Chris rode by (she's in the pink tank and black hat in these photos), I nearly cried because I was so proud of her—but she was all smiles, clearly just having a blast with her girlfriends.
It down-poured at the end of the race, but these awesome ladies were still smiling… and planning their next race. Congratulations Chris, Helene, Maria, Jackie, Jeannie, and Jenn—and all the moms who inspired me (and their kids!) on Saturday.
Chris (third from the right) and her friends at the finish line
My adorable nieces and nephew (Jenna, 10; Jamie, 5; Jaylyn, 3) were so proud of their mom!