The 2013 Ringing in the Spring race was an event of milestones. This year, the race was ran by Kathy Labus and her son Andrew. Andrew is nine years old and suffers from Cerebral Palsy. Andrew is one of twins; he and his brother William were born four months early, each weighing less than two pounds at birth.
Labus and her family have always been involved with Calumet Striders and recently Calumet Striders helped to purchase a “free wheel” for his running wheel chair via The Disabled Runners Fund.
Labus explained, “Now I can push him and we won’t get stuck because this wheel allows us to be able to run through grass and mulch without getting stuck.”
Labus pushed Andrew most of the race but for the very last stretch; Andrew got up out of his wheel chair and finished on his own power, with friends, family and tear-filled fans cheering him on. With a great big smile Andrew crossed the finish line.
After finishing the race Andrew said, “It feels good” to have crossed the finish line on his own. Labus said, “I feel like I can be his legs and he can compete with all of us. We can do it together.”
Another couple running this year has a very special 12th anniversary to celebrate. Clarence and Wanda Melion celebrated their wedding anniversary running the Ringing in the Spring as they have always done since they were married at the race 12 years ago.
Clarence said, “Everyone at the wedding were runners, the attendants, best man and even the minister were all runners.”
Wanda said, “We have always been runners and involved in the running community and getting married at the Ringing in the Spring was a great way to celebrate that because spring meant something new and also meant the start of our lives together. We had 700 guests there and we didn’t even have to send out invitations.”
Congratulations to all the runners and walkers that participated in the Valparaiso YMCA Ringing in the Spring!