Miles with Mom at The San Francisco Marathon & Beyond
Contributed by Kelli Tanghe, a 2017 Ambassador for The San Francisco Marathon.
To My Dear Children,
Mother’s Day 2017 is almost here. This week many spouses, sons and daughters will be busy planning, buying or making gifts for their mom to cherish. While I love sweet gestures and thoughtful treats, I don’t need flowers, candy or fancy dinners. I just need to lace up my running shoes, pound the pavement, or get dirty on the trail with my kids. I’ve had 10 wonderful years of running with my kids, Nic and Lindsay, and nearly five with Ari. Every mile has carried precious memories for me with each of them.
Nic will always have the distinction of pacing Mom through her first 5K. I had my sights set on crossing the finish line in under 30 minutes. I was able to finish in 29 minutes, 47 seconds. He said that he hated running despite conquering 5Ks in under 16 minutes without any training. He was a natural runner and made it look effortless. His first love was always soccer and he went on to become a strong collegiate player. Ironically though, whenever he didn’t have a game or practice, he would run with me. My dumb jokes were somehow funny on the road, my unsolicited advice acceptable, and we could chat freely about anything. I was no longer an “annoying mom” when we ran together. Nic says he still hates running, although this wise mom says differently.
Lindsay and I have dreamed and plotted about destination races while running together. We’ve laughed and cried at finish lines, toasted with champagne, and shared battle scars. We’ve attempted to solve world problems, our own problems, and our friends’ problems out on the road. We’ve shared training schedules, playlists, hair ties, and sunscreen with each other. But most of all, we’ve shared love and laughter.
Last but certainly not least is Ari. Thank goodness she was stubborn and never stopped asking to run with me. I look back and remember all the days I laced up my shoes, closed the front door and ran without her. Ari was the reason this middle aged mom even started to run. Because of her inspiration, courage, and determination, I was able to step outside my comfort zone and try. Because of Ari, running became our family therapy. It’s hard to believe we will toe the line at The San Francisco Marathon for the third time on July 23rd.
Together we have run through your middle school, high school, college and graduate school years. We have run through good times and bad, triumphs and tragedies, and it made us a stronger, closer, and a happier family. All I ask for on this Mother’s Day is to run with my dear children!