It seemed like only yesterday YHC was sending JRR Tolkien a txt saying “This SpeedForNeed Thing, I have to be a part of it. I have to push a Chair do you Understand, I have to!” Fast forward 5 months and here we are at Gashouse’s inaugural SpeedForNeed Race! Something changed in YHC when I saw this thing that is SpeedForNeed; there was a deep down in your gut Heart response for YHC….this mattered.
Wow is it November 25th already? The day seemed to take FOREVER to get here….and then when it was upon YHC it seemed like there wasn’t enough time! YHC was a nervous wreck the day of! Would all the Track Commanders make it? Would their Families have parking? Would anyone get hurt and so many more things flooded YHC mind. Then what should’ve happened first Pray! God was in this YHC knew he was in this! And let me tell you for those of you reading this that were unable to make it HE showed up in a BIG MAGICAL way!
The Families arrived one by one and YHC talked with them as they arrived. YHC had the pleasure of meeting James’s, Amy’s and Austin’s families before the race. And I have the Pleasure of knowing T-Square as my F3 brother for about 2 1/2 years now! YHC didn’t know at the start of all this that meeting the families BEFORE the race would be such a blessing. Men that’s where the connection happens! You get to KNOW there stories and their stories matter! Edison, Dolph, and Pizza Man all went with YHC to meet there riders, and having met them there’s more of a bond on the track the day/night of a race! If YHC could recommend anything to a Q / Driver for future events it would be to meet the families before a race it makes all the difference.
Thank you everyone involved in this at Gashouse! All of you made a difference that night with these kids. They were smiling and you could see the joy in their eyes! Thank you JRR Tolkien for sharing your vision and making it come alive for the f3 Nation to serve some of the most overlooked members of society through SpeedForNeed! Men I just don’t know how to emphasize YHC heartfelt gratitude for you all jumping in head first with YHC in this adventure!
Here’s what YHC remembered …what a whirl wind…. We are gathered at the tent…17:30 time to get the Track commanders in the chariots….the Primary drivers of each Chariot load the commanders in! Gather in front of the YMCA in the street! BOM now while we have everyone! Pray!! Pray that we would be HIS light! That we would Be the difference….that the riders would experience JOY!!! And that we all would be protected from injury! Wow….prayers answered. Let’s go! We head to the starting line and lineup at the start 4 in a row with all the PAX right behind the chariots. At this point as YHC looks at all of YOU …YHC fighting back tears! You had to see it men! From YHC’s perspective looking at ALL of you. What a group of men….doing this on a Saturday night holiday weekend….and you’re all there support these kids….humbled…almost brought YHC to his knees . The image of all of you at the start will FOREVER be etched in YHC mind!
Were off! 2mins prior to the race the course is ours!…YHC runs with Pizza Man and Amy ( she was SO excited ) to start so YHC could see her because YHC knew Pizza Man was going to tear it up and well…YHC just isn’t that fast! Drop back hang with Dolph and Austin! Man Austin was loving it smiling and laughing! Drop back run with Edison and James….the smile on James priceless! Drop back run with T-Square and Mason! Mason looking around….taking it all in chilled and relaxed as he’s on this ride! ….hey YHC can still see Pizza Man….sprint (I know Defib doctors orders no sprinting) YHC only did it once! Only because I couldn’t catch him again! Rinse and repeat the drop back sequence….YHC continued to cut through drop back as much as possible to be able to spend as much time as possible with each Track Commander. As we were heading back YHC could no longer catch Dolph or Pizza Man so I ran through to the end with James and Edison! As YHC got back in line with them YHC notice a PAX about 30 yards or so ahead carrying a flag and yelling to the crowed…” this is James! Cheer for James” well done Norwood! Well done indeed! Run though the finish line!….YHC knew Mason was out there still….run back through the finish an d backwards on the course YHC heard his 2.1 yelling “ Dad your going the wrong way!” As I see Mason coming with the “Girazelle” known as Sargento driving …grab a side ToolTime and we jail break it in through the finish! Gather again with the Pax avaible …and BOM …JRR Tolkien at YHC request prays for the group again.
Then back to the finish line! And watch Mayor, Hushpuppy, Pockets, Roadie, Huckleberry and others finish their 5k’s (PROUD OF YOU MEN! AYE!)….then Bam just as quick as it started its over….some fellowship and stories shared of experiences on the course ….stories of the joy of the riders….wow…the joy of the riders…that’s what it’s all about men …that right their….sharing Joy by doing something for some one that can’t do it for themselves! That’s WHY we are here on this Earth! YHC asked each of the Primary drivers to write a little something….here are their recaps!
The Christmastown 5k was finally here and you could feel the excitement meeting all the Track Commanders at the SFN tent. I had the honor to drive Amy along with some HIMS from F3 Gastonia. There was nothing like the anticipation of having 4 chariots at the start line and wanting to give the Track Commanders the time of their lives through the lights. As we hit the streets of McAdenville, the crowds were priceless. Every supporter we passed cheered louder and louder!! With every cheer and all the lights, we could hear Amy’s excitement in her voice. Every time we heard her excitement we pushed harder. Heading back to the finish line the supporters were chatting Amy, Amy, Amy. With all the Christmas lights and the supporters along the course, my words can’t describe the excitement we saw in Amy as we crossed the finish line!!! I would like to thank Quiche, Defib, and WeeWee for helping me give Amy the time of her life. This was truly one of the most memorable days of my life. Special thanks to Tolkien and ToolTime for giving me this opportunity. I would like to give a shout out to the men of F3, their M’s, and 2.0’s for all the support.
TClaps ToolTime for pushing this event. Great job brother, honored to be part of it. Tool Time and I went to meet Austin and his parents last week, and yeah it was a little awkward but we had a good conversation and we were set and ready for the 25th. Austin is 6 and has cerebral palsy and can’t talk or walk but he has this little laugh that we heard a couple of times tonight that lets you know he is having fun. We were Team Green and we had a blast. Following a good distance behind Pizza Man we were rolling. The lights were bright and shining and the crowd cheering and shaking their cow bells as we ran by seemed to get Austin excited and he would kick his legs and let out that little laugh. Slaw kept pace with us and offered to push for a while, which I took him up on. As we ran through the neighborhood Austin got excited and somehow managed to throw out one of the side pads from his chair, I told Slaw to keep going as I went back to get it. Seeing Austin kick and laugh was awesome. Honored to be a part of it. It was a great time had by all for sure and look forward to the next one. Thanks to all the Pax for coming out as well. #ISI
ToolTime and I met James and his grandfather “Pop Pop” at Holy Angels about 2 weeks before race night. Pop Pop took us on a tour of the facilities and we had an opportunity to hang out with James for a little while. What an awesome little guy. Although he doesn’t communicate verbally, you can tell by his smile and his actions, he is following along. From the moment I met him, I knew race night was going to be special.
On race night, we got James strapped in to his chariot and met in the middle of the street for BOM. Team blue met and made its way to the start line. Team blue consisted of Wheezy, Freight, Ash Pond, Madoff and 2.0s, Norwood, WoJo, Blart, McEnroe, ToolTime, JRR Tolkien and Graham who is my son’s and James’ best friend.
When the race started, team blue set out at a modest pace. As we watched Pizza Man’s and Dolph’s groups pull away, we heard James laughing out loud as the lights passed by. Team blue was amazing, at the beginning of every uphill climb, 2 guys would grab handles on the side of the chariot and help get up the hill. A short way into the race, Norwood, carrying the American flag, pulled about 30 yards in front of our group. Every group of spectators that he passed, he would yell, “This is James, cheer for James!” The whole course was filled with people cheering “GO JAMES!” as we passed. Team blue finished mostly together and met for prayer with the group at the finish line.
This was such an awesome experience. Thank you JRR Tolkien for SpeedForNeed and everything you do. Thank you ToolTime for helping bring Speed For Need to Gaston County. Thank you Pop Pop for sharing James with us. Thank you team blue for sharing this experience with me. I look forward to more SpeedForNeed events in the future.
I feel honored to be a part of F3 and appreciate the opportunity to push Mason in this special event. We enjoyed meeting the other Speed For Need riders and their families, as well. This was definitely a memorable experience for my family!
F3 GasHouse has been there for me & my family through the good & bad. Thank you guys SO much!
1 Corinthians 16:13 (NLT)
13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous.[a] Be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13 (HCSB)
13 Be alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong.
17Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.
THANK YOU ALL!
Great work today by all PAX. It was an honor to lead you men!