October 22, 2022
East City Church, 6850 Monroe Rd., Charlotte, NC 28212
Race start: 6:30 p.m.
Closing ceremonies and Special Program: 8-9 p.m.
Early Bird: $30 until July 1st
$35 until September 1st
$40 until October 17st
$45 race week / day-of
Kids under 10 can participate for free in the 3k Interactive Event, with no shirt.
Virtual race: $35
In 2022, Out of the Ashes became an official non-profit organization and launched a grant program that, through the fundraising from the 5k, sponsorships and donors, will be able to assist bereaved families facing financial burdens associated with pregnancy loss, infant loss and infertility. We know first hand how distressing it can be to get home after losing a child and have a medical bill show up in the mail. We want to alleviate the financial burden from grieving parents so they can focus on navigating a new normal with their families. Funds raised from this year's event will go directly into the Grant fund to help as many families as possible.
Each year, our hope is that this race will be a place to remember and acknowledge every woman who longs to be a mother and every life gone too soon. Our race consists of both a competitive 5k run or an interactive 3k walk. The interactive element has markers every kilometer representing countless negative pregnancy tests, miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss.
The route is mostly flat through a residential neighborhood. Roads will not be closed, so please be cognizant of driveways and neighborhood traffic. We will have a security vehicle at the front leading the runners. The route is 2 loops, with the second slightly shorter than the first. Please look for way-finding signs and volunteers to help direct you throughout the route. Awards will be given to top 3 finishers in each age category.
Along the route – at the different markers – you will see tables with candles and signs representing the stage of pregnancy. If you are walking in memory of a child gone too soon or a couple who longs to be parents – write the family name or the child’s name on a lantern and light a candle in his/her memory. We will release the lanterns at the end of the night. Many parents grieve these various losses in isolation, unsure of how to feel and unaware of shared experiences in their community. Our hope is that this race will be a tangible picture of those affected by this type of loss.
CLOSING CEREMONIES & SILENT AUCTION
At the conclusion of the race, we will recognize top 3 finishers, male and female, in each age category for the competitive 5k and virtual run. We will also hear from a few speakers about their personal experience with pregnancy loss, early infant loss, and infertility. We hope this will be a sweet time to come together as a community and support each other as we remember the significant lives of those we’ve lost. We encourage all participants to stay for this part of the event. We will also stream it live on Facebook for virtual runners. This year, we will also have a silent auction, put together by the Charlotte community. Participants and their families will be able to participate both in person and virtually.
On October 23, 2019, my husband and I gave birth to our stillborn daughter, Hannah. She had died 2 days before at 29 weeks gestation. I only knew two people – in my 31 years — who had experienced this before. But since then, I have watched many untold stories come into the light.
Why the silence?
1 in 4 women experience miscarriage. 1 in 160 experience stillbirth. And 1 in 8 experience infertility. These numbers are staggering, and these women are all around us – in our places of work, our neighborhoods, churches and families. Somewhere along the way, there has been a sad silence surrounding the grief that comes with these realities.
Is there something wrong with us? With our bodies? Pregnancy is supposed to be so natural. But we can see now, with more clarity than ever, that every life born into this world is an absolute miracle.
For those of us whose pregnancies ended before we could bring home our babies, it’s difficult to find ways to honor those precious lives. Many of us want to keep their memories alive, but the world around us keeps moving, leaving us alone in our grief. A lifetime seems like an impossible time to wait, but until we meet again, we will honor the life they had – in the womb or in the far-too-few moments on this earth.
We have learned that beauty will rise out of the ashes as we allow their significant lives – no matter how short – to have an eternal impact.
“…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” – Isaiah 61:3
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