Road to Gazelle Girl: Erin’s race day!

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOTV) – We have been following Erin Bowerman’s journey to the Gazelle Girl half marathon with Sole Sisters. This weekend was the big race, see how Erin’s half marathon went:

Sunday, April 17, 2016

I RAN A HALF MARATHON! It still feels a little surreal as I sit and think about it tonight.

Before I get into all that, this past week seemed to fly by.

Tuesday was a “last minute questions” meeting with the Sole Sisters. This was a very informative meeting with some great information about our upcoming big day. Thank you Donna and the Sole Sisters for all of the great information!

Thursday was a short run and the best part about it was doing it with my kids. They are working on doing some mileage for school for a mileage club and my daughter was determined to go 5 miles. I talked her into only doing 2 for the first time out. She left my son and me in the dust for the last half mile. It was great to see her just flying down the road. As I stood and watched her I was just amazed at where she has come over the past few years as she has overcome her own challenges. She is an amazing young lady and she is planning on doing her first 5k in June. I am so proud of her.

Erin Bowerman sole sisters gazelle girl race day

The night before the race my daughter did my nails for me. This was a great thing to have because it was going to be way too warm to wear my gloves to remind me of her while I was running this time.

Erin Bowerman nails sole sisters gazelle girl race day

 

Race Day… I woke up early and had my peanut butter and banana toast, packed up my kids and got on my race gear. Ready or not it was time to go. I dropped off my kids at a friend’s house so they could come and meet me at the finish line but wouldn’t have to stay the entire time.

I started off strong, a bit too strong. I didn’t listen to one of the pieces of advice of starting out slower than our normal pace. The first 6 miles were quicker than my normal pace. I think it took a lot of energy out of me. But I kept plugging along. It was amazing to see all of the people out cheering us on. Some with signs of encouragement, cow bells, music blaring and high fives along the way. I loved having my name on my race bib because even strangers would say, “way to go Erin!” It is amazing what having someone say your name does to you.

The first 6 miles flew by. Mile 7 and 8 I was getting a bit tired. Miles 9 and 10 I found some more energy. Mile 11… yeah, I didn’t really want to keep going. I was exhausted. As I rounded the corner by the Grand River a very familiar face was coming towards me… DONNA!! She asked me if I was ready to finish and she came along side me and talked me through until the end. As we were going up the last hill, Kari, another Sole Sister joined us. And then I heard people shouting my name. Some of my family and friends came out to see me finish, including a sign they had made just for me. With that energy I made it up that hill to the last corner.

Erin Bowerman sole sisters gazelle girl race day

I turned the corner and saw the finish line. My eyes welled up and then I noticed the two most important people in the world were standing next to the finish line holding their signs next to my friend and my mom. I crossed the finish line and made my way to some chocolate milk. Thankfully Donna was there again to save the day, because I couldn’t get that silly thing open. After a huge drink and a banana I found my kids, friends and family and received some wonderful hugs.

Erin Bowerman kids sole sisters gazelle girl race day

I did it! I ran a half-marathon!

What is next you might be asking? I don’t know yet, but for now some rest.

Thank you to the Sole Sisters for this wonderful opportunity. My life has been changed by this scholarship. I hope that my story will encourage others to get out there and move. It has helped me while going through my divorce and the things I have learned will help me with so many other aspects of my life, including helping me to be the best mom I can be by taking care of myself. Thank you!

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