It has been a few weeks since the Race for Olivia. I ended up going over just 3100 miles and ended up raising $5.944.02. It was a very hectic yet rewarding year for my family and I. It was filled with hard times of losing friends, dogs, and relatives. But looking back now it is hard to see anything but positivity. We believe that we did something good that will make a difference in children's lives.
Over the past year there was a lot of sacrificed time that was spent training instead of spending it with my family. I had to neglect housework, sleep, fun recreational activities with my family, and hardest of all, being around for my family. The support from Janelle was second to none. She selflessly handled pretty much all of the house and family needs. I'm sure she felt like a single parent at times. I could not have survived the past year if it was not for her.
As for the race itself, Ironman Coeur d'Alene could not have been a better venue for the Race for Olivia. I was able to see all 30 family and friends multiple times on the course and the finish was filled with thousands of people all screaming and banging on the barriers for me. It was an experience I cannot put into words. The highlight of the entire day was to cross the finish line and see everybody that had spent 15 hours in the sun watching and screaming for me. I first got to hug and kiss Janelle and Bella, tears were pouring from our faces. Next came Mark Caldwell (Olivia's Grandpa). We hugged and cried some more.
Then the special moment I had been waiting for came. Katie approached me and we met for the first time. Of course we both cried. That is the moment that I knew what we did was special. The entire time I was training, I wondered if it was actually going to make a difference. I wasn't sure how much money was needed to actually accomplish something pertaining to cancer research.
More important than any amount of money, we brought the Olivia Caldwell Foundation attention and publicity that we hope will continue to boost support and donations. We also hope that the Race for Olivia will inspire others to take action. It is easy to want to help, or to raise awareness. It is difficult to actually do something about it. We are just an ordinary family, living an ordinary life that saw friends in need and decided to do what we could to help. With the support of our family and friends we were able to beat our goal by nearly double. We hope that whoever sees this knows that they too can make a difference.
Like the slogan of Ironman says, "Anything is Possible."
Thank you to everyone that donated and supported us. It will be an experience that will be etched in our memories forever.