WHEN October 23, 2020 6-:30 p.m. Race Start This is the 1-year anniversary of Hannah’s birth.
STARTING LINE East City Church 6850 Monroe Rd., Charlotte, NC 28212 East Mecklenburg High School has given us permission to park in the single row closest to the church. There are 90 parking spots in this row. The race will begin and end in the Church parking lot behind the church. Bathrooms are accessible in the church.
EVENTS We will have a 5k competitive (timed), a run/walk (non-timed) and a virtual option for anyone who cannot attend the race but would still like to run and receive a t-shirt. There will be a timer at the finish line for all who want to see their time, but not interested in placing. All ages and levels welcome! Children under 10 may run for free in the non-timed event.
Virtual 5k Event: This division allows runners to run a 5k (3.1) mile course of their choice and record the time under their profile at the race site. You will be able to run a 5k on your own and submit your time from October 17th - Oct 22nd by midnight. We will mail your shirt and medal once our event is complete. Thank you for your support and be safe!
ROUTE The route will begin and end at East City Church, and weave throughout the McClintock Woods neighborhood. Racers will not go on any major roads. Neighborhood roads will not be closed, so please be cautious of residential traffic.
CLOSING CEREMONIES At the conclusion of the race, we will recognize top 3 finishers, male and female, in each age category. We will also hear from a few speakers about their personal experience with pregnancy loss, early infant loss, and infertility. We hope this will be a sweet time to come together as a community and support each other as we remember the significant lives of those we’ve lost.
HOW THIS RACE WAS BORN
On October 23, 2019, my husband and I gave birth to our stillborn daughter, Hannah. She had died 2 days before at 29 weeks gestation. I only knew two people – in my 31 years — who had experienced this before. But since then, I have watched many untold stories come into the light. Why the silence?
1 in 4 women experience miscarriage. 1 in 160 experience stillbirth. And 1 in 8 experience infertility. These numbers are staggering, and these women are all around us – in our places of work, our neighborhoods, churches and families. Somewhere along the way, there has been a sad silence surrounding the grief that comes with these realities.
Is there something wrong with us? With our bodies? Pregnancy is supposed to be so natural. But we can see now, with more clarity than ever, that every life born into this world is an absolute miracle.
For those of us whose pregnancies ended before we could bring home our babies, it’s difficult to find ways to honor those precious lives. Many of us want to keep their memories alive, but the world around us keeps moving, leaving us alone in our grief. A lifetime seems like an impossible time to wait, but until we meet again, we will honor the life they had – in the womb or in the far-too-few moments on this earth.
We have learned that beauty will rise out of the ashes as we allow their significant lives – no matter how short – to have an eternal impact.
“…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” – Isaiah 61:3
Our hope is that this race will be a place to remember and acknowledge every life gone too soon. We have planned an interactive run/walk. Just as there are 3 trimesters in a pregnancy and a newborn phase, a 5k has 3 miles and a 0.1 mile finish.
Along the route – at different mile-markers, you will see tables with candles and signs representing the stage of pregnancy. If you are walking in remembrance of a child gone too soon – your own or someone you know – write the family name or the child’s name on the sign and light a candle in his/her memory. Many parents grieve these losses in isolation, unsure of how to feel and unaware of shared experiences in their community. Our hope is that this race will be a tangible picture of those affected by this type of loss.