“I enjoyed, I think, her spirit about it the most because during the race I had said to her, ‘You’re doing a fabulous job, you’re doing wonderful,’” Payne said. “And the part I loved the most about it was when she took my hand and I asked her if she was going to run ahead of me and she said, ‘No mommy, we’re a team. You’re doing great.’
“She kept encouraging me. So I kind of felt like all the talks that we’ve had with her about good sportsmanship, that she portrayed it without me asking her to. It’s her team spirit, I think, was the best thing ... besides being able to do it with her.”
With Avery proclaiming she enjoyed “all of [the obstacles],” Payne said they had to complete six tasks along a mile course.
“I’m a Beachbody coach and I like to do 5Ks and everything and my husband’s always been active in sports,” she said. “And we saw this [competition] and I want to get our children involved in activities. So I’ve been doing 5Ks this year and she asked me if she could run a race with me. So when I found this one, I asked her if she would do it with me and she said, ‘Yes.’ She’s so excited. So we signed up and did it.
“... There were six obstacles for us to complete and Avery was actually the youngest and smallest participant there. We did the six obstacles and it’s supposed to be a team effort. So I had to wrap her as a mummy. ... She [also] had to ride me like a horse and we had to fill up a bucket of water while she held a sponge — stuff like that over a one-mile course.”
Promoting the experience as a “memory-making family activity,” the event’s website www.greatamazingrace.com appealed to potential participants saying, “Kids in grades K-12 can pair up with or race against parents, grandparents, family members, friends or neighbors while completing a one mile course filled with fun challenges modeled after the popular television show ‘The Amazing Race.’
“Whether you run, jog, watch or walk, it’ll be a bonding experience you will never forget. ... The Great Amazing Race series makes pit stops in all NFL cities. The top 25 teams from each city qualify for the Championship Race and a chance to win $2,000.”
Along with advancing to the national championships in Ohio Aug. 31, Avery also received four tickets to the Georgia Aquarium for her fundraising efforts, in which she generated more than $200 for cystic fibrosis.