Maria (Mimi) Whelan
This race is important to me, primarily because it has become a family tradition. It started when, as a young mother, with my three children and my husband cheering me on, I ran that first race. It was 1986 and I was quite proud of myself for putting that goal out there after having my third child, and reaching it. At the time, I remember being impressed by this mass of women all together doing this race; it was an amazing and inspiring sight. It was not common at the time. I was so pleased to be a part of it. In the years to follow, as I continued to participate, I was proud to be a good example for my family. So, I’ve continued running nearly every year since! Through those years I’ve had others join me in the tradition, and I am most proud of my daughters (and daughter-in-law) who’ve been doing it with me. Hopefully, my two granddaughters—who now make and hold signs supporting us (and love the tradition as well)—will be part of the pack one of these race days in the future! And I hope, I hope, I’ll be there with them!!!
For sure, in my 31 years, there have been obstacles…including a broken foot several months prior (that I had to recover from and prove to myself, I could still run!)… some rainy, cold race days, and some very hot ones. Despite voices in my head, trying to talk me out of running on those days (and also how I’d lament my slower times as the years piled on), I always ended up doing it—and have never regretted the decision.