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A classroom writing assignment proved to be an exercise in building a better mother-daughter relationship when 11-year-old Charity Stoltz penned a persuasive letter to her mother last fall.
“I wrote a note for my mom to start running with me to get back in shape,” said Charity, a fifth-grader at Kenwood Station in Crestwood. While the letter outlined the advantages of physical fitness it also sold the perks of spending more quality time together as a mother and daughter. “I can picture our hair flowing freely behind us like baby ducks teetering after their mother...I can see us conversing on and on, running together,” Charity wrote in her letter. Charity’s teacher, Bill Hudgens, shared the note with her mom at a parent conference. “A lot of children were asking for things in their letters,” Hudgens said. “She was asking for something personal. She writes a lot about her family. There’s a warmth in her writing that comes from the personal approach she takes.” Hudgens described Charity as a marvelous student, whose drive to succeed is very impressive. But Charity said she was still surprised when her mom accepted her invitation. In March, the mother-daughter pair began training for the Louisville Triple Crown of Running, a three-part racing series held each year as part of the Kentucky Derby Festival. The pair ran a 10k March 20, followed by a 10-mile race April 3, before tackling the crown jewel event — a 13.1-mile mini-marathon April 24. The course snaked through Louisville’s hilly Iroquois Park and into Churchill Downs. It took them through parts of downtown before terminating at Louisville Slugger Field near Waterfront Park. The pair struggled in the last mile of the mini-marathon, but persevered to finish with a time of 3:04:57. “I kept telling my daughter the end was around the next corner, but it wasn’t,” mother Melissa Moore-Stoltz said. “But Charity did awesome all the way through.” Dad greeted the pair at the finish line with glazed and chocolate cream-filled donuts. “We were starving,” Moore-Stoltz said. “They were so good.” During the marathon the pair took time to catch up on life. They talked mostly about what was happening at school and church. The pair said they enjoyed reading scriptures posted on the backs of other runners. “We got into some deep conversations about the Bible,” Moore-Stoltz said. They also took time to enjoy the scenery. “I liked the race because I like doing challenging things. I’m like a dare devil,” Charity said. “But I think it brought us closer because we got to talk a little more.” Moore-Stoltz agreed. Finding personal time for her daughter – as well as a younger daughter and an older stepson – is a lesson she learned from her own mother. “They’re all individuals,” she said of her children. “You need to find time for them. Kids should always know they can come to you with anything.” E-mail us about this story at: email@example.com.