Not really sure that fun is ever a word I can accurately use to describe my runs, but I will enjoy Jennie Carol’s Memorial Mother’s Day 5K Run through downtown Danville with 500 or more others.
This run is unique because it honors the memory of Jennie Carol Black Tarter, who started running in 2005 and completed the 13.1-mile Kentucky Derby Festival mini-marathon in both 2007 and 2008.
Mother's Day — the reason this annual event is always the day before Mother’s Day.
Tarter, a former second-grade teacher in Danville, touched numerous lives and four friends — Lori-Ann Clark, Amy Longwill, Jenny Tarter and Julie Hicks — organized this 5-kilometer run to benefit the Backpack Kids Program in Jennie's name. It has been a huge success, too, not only for the number of participants that range from serious runners to casual runners to walkers to mothers and others who just want to support the cause.
The organizers have done a terrific job soliciting sponsors for everything from the trophies and T-shirts to the water stops and starting and finish lines. They even got creative with the awards, and age division winners get a hat noting they were an award winner that not only is a great keepsake, but it is a great way to promote awareness for the race all year.
“Many blessings have come from it,” Jenny Tarter said about the 5K. “The four of us are overcome each year when we continue to see (God’s) presence in this event.”
It’s a hard feeling to explain. It’s almost like a big love-fest from start to finish for participants of all ages before, during and after the race. Even those who did not know Jennie Tarter are touched by her memory and her friends’ desire to honor her legacy.
I got this e-mail from Karen Black, Jennie Tarter’s mother, this week:
“This is such a wonderful and worthy charity, and I am so blessed to have these terrific ladies who have worked so hard to put this race on. I miss Jennie every single day, and she’s never far from my thoughts. This race is a legacy for her and her boys and I am so thankful to everyone who participates in any way to make this the successful race that it is.
“God bless you for thinking of her and keeping this 5K in print. You don’t know what it means to her Dad and me. This 5K is such a blessing to me — to see your child remembered like this is beyond words. Thank you for being part of keeping Jennie’s memory alive. Since she was an organ donor, she still lives in others, too.”
Indeed she does and she will Saturday, too, when so many come out to honor her memory, support a great cause and enjoy a 3.1-mile run/walk.