The more it happens, the fewer words I have.
To put it as few words as possible: my father, who was my biggest running fan, has appeared via my race bib in the form of his birth digits (2-15-52/ February 15, 1952) six times since his death in 2013 and in four other miraculous forms at races. I can simply refer you to previous blog posts to catch you up on the story.
Click to read a list of the previous nine miracles.
Miracle Number 10 happened on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017, at the 5K Salvation Army Turkey Trot in Uniontown, Pa.
I decided to race at the last minute due to the persuasion of running friends Shane and Rachel, who are part of my all-female trail running group, the Trail Tribe. Road running is not my thing, but I was instantly pleased when the race volunteer handed me my bib 30 minutes before start time.
1925. 52 was my father's birth year, and the numbers five and two have randomly appeared in six other bibs, as you can see from the above photo.
Immediately, I laughed. Shane laughed. Rachel shook her head in awe. What could we say? I was surprised and happy that on this holiday I would be running with my dad pinned near my heart.
The race set off, and I was not sure how the road would feel under my feet when I am so accustomed to technical dirt trails.
To my delight, it felt great! The blacktop had a spring to it, and my feet felt quick and light. I was moving easily and swiftly.
In all races, a point arrives when a smile slowly spreads across my face. It occurs when the natural flow kicks in, the movement feels surreal and time stands still. Despite hacking, spitting and blowing snot rockets (I'd had a cold for two weeks), I was smiling within five minutes of the start gun.
Once the smile creeps in, it's difficult to shake. It stays, and I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude and joy. This was going to be a good race!
Good it was! I finished first female in my age group and eighth overall female with my second best personal record of 21:46 (7:00/mile average pace).
When the miracles first began happening in 2015, I did not anticipate them to to keep coming, to keep gracing me at nearly every race. Now I ponder when the story will end, or if it will ever end. I know he will always be with me whether my race bibs or times contain his birth digits or not. But I sure do enjoy having him as my race angel! Keep it coming, dad!