Noah's Bandage Project After Action Report

Please excuse me for a moment while I get a little gushy. I did not know the importance of this morning's race until well after I had crossed the finish line.

As many of you know, I took up running back in 2010. I started in October of that year. I remember it like it was yesterday. A good friend of mine knew I was going through a very rough divorce and I needed something and somewhere to channel my emotions. He suggested running. I’m sure I questioned his sanity. I started running. Little by little and day by day I improved. I finally decided to run a race. My friend who was responsible for all this mess ran it as well. On December 5th, 2010 I ran my first 5k. The Great Santa Dash in Overland Park, KS. I was instantly hooked. I ran another 5k in January and then made the huge leap to a half marathon in April of 2011. By November 2011, I had my first full marathon under my belt.

I’ve loved running ever since. In 2016 when I had not one but two open-heart surgeries, I informed my doctor that I wanted them to do whatever it took so that I would not have to give up my passion for running and sports. With that decision, I have a mechanical valve in my heart and will be on a lifetime supply of blood thinners. It didn’t matter to me. I could continue to be an athlete.

July 20, 2016. Open Heart Surgery number one. August 11, 2016. Open Heart Surgery number two. 09/25/2016. First 5k back from heart surgery. Smart? Probably not. Worth it? 100%. I still to this day need my runs. I still to this day need my race mornings and that feeling….nay drug of crossing that finish line.

Who do I tell you all this now? Today. At Noah’s Bandage Project 5k, I completed my 100th 5k! I knew I was close, but I had honestly forgotten about it. This afternoon though, logging my results I saw it. Number 100. It took twelve years to get there, but here we are! The next milestone is coming up quickly though as I now stand at 197 total races. We will be at 200 in no time!

Thank you for indulging my little storytime here. It did me well just to reflect on my time running. Where I’ve been and where I am heading. I am grateful for every starting line I get to toe.

This morning was Noah’s Bandage Project 5k held at Corporate Woods in Overland Park, KS. Another course that I have run many times and know well. This race is such a wonderful experience as they have raised so much money to help in the fight against pediatric cancer. Noah Wilson’s story is known far and wide in the Kansas City area. You can find more on it in the podcast about this weekend's events.

I could go on a turn for turn description of the race, but I am not going to do that. I want you to go look up this race and read about Noah and his family. Then I want you to go and squeeze your kids for me, as the thought and even words of “pediatric cancer” is enough to send any parent in a state of absolute fear. I know it does for me. I am really pleased that this was my 100th 5k. My time wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, but that is okay. We had a chilly morning, but that was okay. The celebration that this race has turned into over the years is always an inspiration. Something that they always point out is that even as Noah Wilson was going through cancer treatments… six years old, never was he not smiling. He was sick, he knew it, but he wanted to help others. And he has. To the tune of over a million dollars donated through Noah’s Bandage Project. Even though Noah lost his battle in 2015, his legacy lives on. That is more important than any race I run or any number I have completed.

The Back of the Pack Podcast applauds the work done by Noah’s family in his name and in his honor. It is our pleasure to support you with our registration dollars. We will see you next year. Registration for 2023 appears to already be open. I guess I better go get signed up!