Run-for-Lawson-LogoLawson MayfieldIt has been a year since my first trail run which brought me to Tallahassee’s Run For Lawson at a local private school on the Northwest side of Tallahassee.  As I had progressed only a little in my running I struggled with this, my first tough trail run, as a 5K race.  I promptly noted that I was a road runner and not a trail runner after running this race.  The course, on the property of Welaunee Plantation, is groomed for runners to loop, once for the 5K and twice to finish the 10K.  So when the race came around this year I decided that I wanted to take time and give back to my racing community and volunteer.  I signed up for the Race Day Packet Pickup Table and was scheduled to report for duty at 6:45 am on Saturday morning.  OOMPH!  No time for sleeping in here!

Run for Lawson Flat MamaThe Run for Lawson – In memory of Tallahassee teen Lawson Mayfield, who passed suddenly from bacterial meningitis, The Lawson Mayfield Memorial Foundation will host its third annual Run For Lawson benefit run. Proceeds from the event support National Meningitis Association {NMA} and contribute to raising local awareness about bacterial meningitis prevention.

I arrived at the race venue as instructed at 6:45 am ready to help out.  There seemed to be a very big group that turned out to volunteer and help with the morning events.  Tables were popped up and stations assigned and I even got to meet some really nice local ladies that I worked the table with.  As the morning progressed and more and more runners arrived, including some of my fellow running group Mamas and it was exciting to see so many families running and participating together.

Run for Lawson Race Day

This years event raised more than $70K for the National Meningitis Association and turned out more than 500 runners to tackle what is a very tough cross-country course.  A finish line complete with water, donated snacks and a really amazing family that donated and grilled sausage for the runners crossing the finish line.  It was an amazingly generous atmosphere of positive vibes.  I was able to meet Lawson’s Mother Cathy and sister Brittany, two of the most kind people you will ever meet that always had a smile on their face.  I was excited to be on the other side of the race on Saturday, helping race participants pick up their bibs and packets the morning of the race and cheering on some of my fellow Moms RUN This Town members.

Tammy & Leanne

The 1-Mile fun run began at 8:00 am which meant that I only had 30 more minutes to work my assigned station and then I could go and cheer on the runners.  As 8:30 approached we finished up our duties and I made my way over to the 10K area that I knew a lot of my fellow runners would be passing to start the second loop of the race.  One of our Mamas that I was particularly excited to see was Leanne, who had participated in the summer trail series, but the heat and illness had brought her down the last month of running.

Run for Lawson Race DayVolunteers QuotesIt was an awesome feeling to be able to give back to my racing community but also be at the finish line to cheer on these great runners tackling and finishing such a tough course.  I love taking the time to give back and will certainly be looking for more opportunities to do this in the future.  I would certainly suggest taking the time when you have it away and volunteer.  It not only gives you insight into what those races we participate in take to coordinate, but you get to go home with the great feelings that you gave back to your running community that is always there cheering you on in races.

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