The third annual Leo’s Run 5k run/walk will take place on February 5, 2017. The run is in honor of our son, Leo Michael Mowery. He was stillborn on February 2, 2014. As an avid runner, a 5K run / walk around his birthday aides in the healing process and serves as a way to honor our son. He was born on Super Bowl Sunday of 2014 (February 2, 2014). This year’s game is on February 7th, so we will embrace the cold of winter and honor him with a run/walk which starts at the East Silver Spring Elementary School (631 Silver Spring Ave), heads down to Sligo Creek Park, where Leo’s memorial ceremony was held, and returns to the school through the neighborhood and along the street where Leo would have been raised.
Losing a child is an incredibly tough experience, one which does not ease over time. Thankfully, we have had tremendous support from our families, our neighbors and the Silver Spring community in which we live and I am the owner of a small business (Outerloop Management). Both Caroline and I have used this terrible tragedy as a way to grow closer to one another and seek out avenues of personal growth. Though we are still grieving, we have already begun ways to look at how to give back; back to Leo, to those who have supported us, and to the world at large.
HISTORY OF LEO'S GARDEN
During May 2014 many of our supporters helped us build a memorial garden in the back of our home, which we’ve aptly named Leo’s Garden. Leo’s Garden is a registered 501(c)3 non profit, which not only includes the run, but also aspires to start a scholarship for children whose parents have experienced pre-natal loss (i.e. the recipient will have lost a sibling), and supporting and sponsoring creative and artistic activities or therapies such as yoga, art, and outdoor education as a means of promoting the well-being of families who have suffered still birth or other tragic loss.
RUN / WALK / CREATE / SHARE / NAMASTE with LEO'S RUN COMMUNITY
Last year’s run had over 250 participants, and we are hoping to have even more this year. Just like last year, we anticipate it to be cold come race day, but nothing warms the body and soul like a run or walk. We will have hot chocolate, tea and coffee to keep participants warm pre and post race. Last year we followed the race with some entertainment and a raffle in the East Silver Spring Elementary School gym. We also had creative outlets for those who have suffered loss.
The run has a confirmed permit with Montgomery County Department of Transportation and Sligo Creek Park for the race route, and use of the East Silver Spring Elementary School gym. The 5k is a USATF certified course. In addition to participating in the run/walk, there will be many opportunities for people to volunteer and support the race if the idea of running or walking in the cold/snow is not appealing.
In the spirit of community, the day of the run is more than just a run. While runners are on the course, the East Silver Spring Elementary School gym serves as a gathering place for grief support and community.