Excerpts from the speech that Beth gave at the 2008 carb-up dinner the night before the race:
"My son, Rhett, never knew failure. He, like thousands of other children with special needs, never knew what they were capable of. They live day to day requiring constant care just to move or to feed themselves. They don’t have the choice whether to get off their couch and move into life. You have that choice and you made it. Rhett would be proud of each of you.
The high you are feeling now and the super high you’ll feel tomorrow can remain with you all year long. Keep that feeling by giving something back to those that can’t run with you. This blue shirt means you are Runnin’ for Rhett. After the race, next week, next month, all during the year help us spread Rhett’s word.Ask just one friend…seriously, ask 1000 friends…to get into shape, to support a great cause…to move into life. Tell them to visit runninforrhett.com and get the full story. Let Rhett be your inspiration. And pay him back by supporting the thousands of children just like him.Thank you for being part of my son’s life. RUN ON FOR YOU….RUN ON FOR RHETT!!!"
Here are some additional testimonies that were received right after completing the Shamrock’n 1/2 on March 16th, 2008.
"...It was my thoughts of Rhett and his inability to walk at all that helped me finish. I knew Rhett was walking with us and helped us cross the finish line and once we finished, I could feel him clapping for me. We miss him terribly and it’s times like Sunday that helps us to know he is watching over us."
"Although we did not know Rhett, his spirit was definitely present and felt during race day. My husband, children and I were all proud to be a part of this event. You are special people and your enthusiasm to motivate people to survive life by getting outdoors, exercising and being among friends is a wonderful way to commemorate your son’s extraordinary life."
"...This was truly one of the best experiences that I have had. To be able to leave the week behind and get out with a group of people each Saturday morning that were moving into life was just great."
"...Yesterday as I was passing other “Runnin for Rhett” shirts, we’d all yell out, Go Rhett! As I was going home I realized that we were Rhett’s legs, which he never had a chance to use here on earth. I definitely plan on doing this again next year."
"...I’ve run with “Team and Training” a couple of times, and I never felt so comfortable, energetic, excited and connected as I did with Runnin’ for Rhett. Each Saturday, I so looked forward to Randy’s gathering, Beth’s warm smile, the team’s encouraging “good job” as we passed one another and of course Rhett’s blessing of good weather. You’ve really bestowed a gift to me, and again, thank you."
"...from 6 Runnin’ for Rhett runners from Travis AFB, thank you for supporting special education teachers and their efforts as they work with children that have special needs."
"...I am so thrilled to be joining the Runnin’ for Rhett inspirational movement. I have a 20 year old daughter that also has Cerebral Palsy. I know the laugh and the infectious smile well and am so thankful, daily, for my daughter. I am also a teacher and am so moved by your scholarship program."
"...I’m not sure if it’s as a mother or maybe just a human being - but to see Randy and Beth cross the finish line, hand-in-hand, together really touched me - it made me tear up. I admire your love, strength and commitment. Go Rhett!"