Running was one of the ways that Methow Valley residents Vicky and Peter Douxmont got through the early months of the pandemic. With a toddler at home due to school closures, running gave the Douxmonts some sense of routine, a healthy outlet for energy, and a feeling of contentment throughout the day following a run. “We found that running has become extremely helpful throughout the pandemic,” Vicky says. “With so much uncertainty, a morning run was and is one thing we could count on. You never know what each day will bring, but we always knew we were going to get up and go for a run. It was really settling.”
When schools reopened in the fall and the Douxmont’s son, Ti, returned to Little Star Montessori School’s toddler program, Vicky and Peter were reminded of what an important role Little Star played in their family’s life. “Our son loves Little Star,” the Douxmonts say. “We feel so lucky to have him there. Little Star makes you feel like you’re a part of a family.”
It was natural, then, for the Douxmonts to launch a fundraiser to benefit Little Star’s financial aid program. “We know that so many families are struggling due to COVID,” Vicky says. “We wanted to help this school that has helped us so much.”
Although both Douxmonts were avid runners pre-pandemic, regularly competing in at least two half-marathons each year, it was during the pandemic that both Vicky (age 47), who had previously run nine marathons in her 30s, and Peter (age 66), who had never run a marathon, picked up the long-distance bug. “I just wanted to get back into marathoning,” Vicky says. “I hadn’t run one in seven years, and not since having a child.” Raising money for Little Star as an incentive to train for marathons was a logical fit for both Douxmonts.
The Douxmonts signed up for the Snohomish River Run, which would have been held Oct. 18; however, due to COVID, their plans changed to running a local marathon on their own, on a local course. The Winthrop Marathon Course is certified, and is a Boston Marathon qualifier (“in better times,” Vicky says), and was where Peter completed his first marathon, decked out in neon orange on the first weekend of the open hunting season.
Vicky, however, was on the tail end of recovering from a late summer hamstring injury, and postponed her marathon by two weeks, putting her on roads significantly impacted by the heavy snowfall that made the dirt roads in the valley ice-caked and treacherous. Although she had trained for the Winthrop Marathon Course, Vicky had to change course, instead of running from the Eight-Mile Sno-Park, down the Twisp-Eastside Road, to the Twisp-Carlton Road, accompanied at the end by cheering friends on bicycles who kept her morale up in the final grueling miles of the marathon on the first day of November.
The Douxmonts are happy with their runs and their finishing times, but for them, the emphasis remains on Little Star. “Little Star gives us so much,” the Douxmonts say, “We wanted to give the school something.”
Those who wish to contribute to the Douxmonts’ fundraising effort for Little Star’s financial assistance program can do so at http://www.gofundme.com/f/race-for-the-little-stars. The Douxmonts’ fundraiser remains open through Thanksgiving – a fitting date for an effort that comes from the heart as an expression of gratitude.