Today is Purple Day. Are you wearing purple? If not, head right back to your closet, get yourself some purple on, and parade around the neighborhood in support of epilepsy awareness.
On Saturday, I ran in the Purple Day 5k, a race to create epilepsy awareness. Two of my dear friends, Greg and Angela, created this race. The inspiration came from their own daughter, Natalie, who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy (due to an in-utero left hemiplegic stroke) when she was eight months old. For the first 11 years of Natalie’s life, she had daily seizures that were only partially controlled by medication. Last July, she underwent a brain surgery that has kept her seizure-free ever since. The Purple Day 5k is a fundraiser for the Epilepsy Association of Utah to help create epilepsy awareness. I went to the race and have never been so emotionally moved by a running event.
The morning started with a drive from my home in Park City, down to the race location in South Jordan. I turned on Pandora on my phone and Micheal Jackson’s “I’ll Be There” came on. As I backed out of the garage and drove up the street I started singing to the chorus and the sun started to glow as it started to rise behind the mountains. It was one of those Zen moments where I realized that I was about to go participate in something amazing.
I arrived and started helping with little nick-nack jobs that needed to be done: chopping up fruit, helping with day-of registration, etc. A few minutes before the race, I put on my purple bandanna, stripped down, and got ready to run. The race was a time trial for me, setting a standard for my next few months of triathlon training. I ended up with a fun finish and close to my goal time.
The race was a good one for me, but the most amazing part was actually the Push to the Finish team that came out to support kids that couldn’t run themselves. When these kids were awarded for placing in their division, it brought tears to my eyes. I could definitely see myself volunteering for this organization in the future.
I was so proud of my friends for putting on such an amazing race with all the little details covered. They did a great job and I can’t wait to watch their event grow up!