Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Rocky Mountain Range of Emotions!

Pikes Peak rises 14,115 feet high - 7,815 feet above the start-line for our Run to Remember teams' 8th annual trek to the summit in honor of loved-ones who have died in traffic incidents. We carried the names of 87 loved-ones on our shirts to the top. The weekend provided a literal "Rocky Mountain Range of Emotions" - from tears to laughter and just about every emotion in between. 

90+ represents the number of loved ones who die on American roadways each day. Our team runs to honor all these loved ones. Click to meet the Faces of Love-Ones Our shirts were designed by Denise McPherson, Brandon's mom


Six LIVE FORWARD! families joined us for the weekend. Families from throughout the U.S. wore their Live Forward! & Run to Remember Shirts in solidarity with all who gathered on Pikes Peak August 16th

Russ Lloyd, Shannon's dad, with his brother Errol, joined us for the 
3rd year to run in her honor and memory. 


The LIVE FORWARD!Run to Remember Team posing before the Start (yes, Michael ran all the way to the top in that straw hat) From L to R - Patrick McCusker, Michael Everson, Russ Lloyd, Matthew Everson, Tom Everson, Mike Everson, Shawn Everson, and Sean Everson (Uncle and Nephew)
Bryn's family helping to direct those erecting the Start-Line banner

Kenny's family honoring his love and memory


Maria and Sierra came to honor Elijah (with yours truly and Wendy, my wife)


Sky- running always starts with a rendition of America the Beautiful, written by Katharine Lee Bates while on the summit of Pikes Peak in the summer of 1893

Patrick begins with a smile. He would later succumb to oxygen deprivation and not reach the summit - yes, this race is really that tough! Believing in redemption, Patrick took this all in stride and plans to return next year to run to remember. Will you be there as well? 

Tad, and Isaac with Alexa Bear in honor of Alexa, and Jona at the Memorial to Katharine Lee Bates with the poem that became "America the Beautiful"


Maria and Sierra enjoying a light moment at the summit

Mike, our fastest finisher - and past medal winner - crosses the finish line

Matthew, 8 time team member, crosses the line with a personal best - by 26+ minutes - he gave all he had!

Michael finishes with a personal best by 20 minutes - It's the hat!

Shawn, in the white hat, realizes a personal best as well - by 10 minutes

Sean follows his brothers to the finish - yes, the expression is appropriate to the effort needed to reach the summit.

Russ brings it home for Shannon for the 3rd time

Yours truly, Tom, closes out the finish for our team - 36 minutes faster than last year!

Matthew and Mom embrace

Posing with Pat, Addi, and Lyssi at the summit

Tad, Jona, and Isaac, honoring Alexa, celebrating with families at our closing dinner

Maria and Sierra honoring Elijah

The Dirkschneiders honoring Bryn and Ken - nephew and cousin

Stewart, Ken's Dad and Bryn's Uncle

Our closing meal Saturday evening drew families and runners together for a truly grace-filled meal. Stories were shared, memories were made. 

These photos tell just a small part of the story. Being there tells it's own story. The mountain holds a magic that draws people together. We are all better for the experience. Thanks to all who made it happen - every family connected with the Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 mission, our runners, and all who donated to make a magical weekend possible for all those who Live Forward and Run to Remember.

Simply put, the weekend was a medal-winner all the way around.

We look forward to making more memories when families and our team gather again next year the weekend of August 15th for the 60th running of the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon. We welcome your presence, as everyone who gathers adds to the gift that is Live Forward! & Run to Remember.


Photos for this essay were taken by family members who served as our cheering and support crew throughout the weekend. They also provided love and support for each other - an amazing bunch of human beings who truly define what it means to be family. Thank you!

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