This past weekend Valparaiso celebrated it's most famous alumni Orville Redenbacker with it's popcorn festival. Like many other small Indiana town festivals it mixes some part of it's heritage. Valpraiso not only has a parade, venders, food, a balloon launch but it also has a 5 mile race and it's marquee event called the lil' kernal race.
From general estimates anywhere from 300-500 kids ages 2-9 race down Valparaiso mainstreet in age groups and heats of 20-25.The 7-9 race 300 yards, 4-6 200 yards and then 2-3 100 yards. It is a run in front of family,friends, valpoites, and those who wanted to stake their claims out for the parade.
Ayden had run in the this event once before we had held out Kyle and Ellyse due to not knowing how they would handle it. This year we decided to sign them all up to run. Although Kyle is 8 we thought it best if he just ran the 200 yards with Ellyse. We had no idea how he would do, we thought worse case scenerio he would trip, fall, and be bloody the rest of the day.
When it was the 6 year olds time to shine, Jill pushed through the crowds to get Ellyse and Kyle into position. They reached the starting line with every other parent in northwest indiana who thought their child is going to be the next Usain Bolt. There were racer helpers who would escort the kids to the finish line and Jill asked one of them to occompany Kyle. The race started out and all the kids darted down the road. All the kids that is but Kyle. He tried to run as fast as his legs would take him, but he doesn't move to well because of the muscle Dystrophy. Soon it was very evident that this was going to take a while. When he was a quarter of the way to through the course Ellyse and the rest of the kids finished. Kyle was very determined to finish, although his legs are not strong his will made up for it. As he labored the remaining 150 yards a couple of other helpers joined in encouraging him to finish. I thnk there was very little doubt in Kyle's mind that he couldn't finish. As he neared the finishing line Jill's uncle told the announcer that the little boy's name on the course was Kyle. He began cheering on the loudspeaker for Kyle and immediately the throughs of people gathered began to follow.
As they were cheering his name a huge smile came across Kyle's face and with all the energy he could muster he ran the remaining 25 yards as fast as his legs would carry him.