My mom, Sharon King, has never run a race. But on Nov. 16, she’ll be in the 5K field when thousands of runners fill the streets of uptown Charlotte, NC for the Thunder Road Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K.
My mom can do anything she puts her mind to, whether or not she believes it. She doesn’t need my help. But I agreed to coach her to her first 3.1-mile finish and look forward to spending the next few months “on the road” together even as I work toward my own goal of running the half marathon blindfolded in my little sister’s honor.
We hit the indoor track for our first training session tonight. I thought we’d average 12-minute-plus miles, but as soon as I hit the “start” button on my Garmin, Mom took off. I don’t like to do anything halfway, but I come by it honest.
We alternated 0.2-mile jogs with two-lap walks on the 1/12-mile track. Toward the end of our run, Mom picked up speed and sharpened her focus, and I fell back to snap a secret photo of her in stride.
We hung it up after a mile; I know the dangers of overdoing exercise as well as anyone and want to warm Mom’s joints up to the idea of this whole running thing. But while we didn’t break any distance records, we got off to a great start. My mom, the non-runner, averaged a 10:28 mile and would have gone faster had she not had me in her ear telling her to slow down on some laps.
I might be able to convince Mom to take it easy on the track, but in the real fight, there’s no room for that. Tomorrow is the seven-year anniversary of Taylor’s Batten disease diagnosis. We’re not slowing down any time soon, and we’ll never, ever give up for kids like my sister. I can’t tell you what the clock will say when we cross our respective finish lines on Nov. 16, but you can count on us to keep fighting.
The Thunder Road Marathon, Thunder Road Half Marathon and Thunder Road 5K have plenty of room for other Taylor’s Tale supporters. If you’re interested in running to honor Taylor and support Taylor’s Tale, the 501(c)3 non-profit organization we founded to fight Batten disease and other rare diseases, please contact us.