Saturday, April 24, 2010

Marathon Memories

It's time for the Country Music Marathon & Half Marathon. I have friends who run every year.

I ran once... the half.

I'm glad I did, but don't feel the need to do it again. I was told while I was training that it was the preparation that was difficult - the race itself is a celebration. He was right.

I was prepared for the exhaustion at mile 8. I had practiced for the hills, and was told if I put my name on my shirt, people in the crowd would cheer me by name.

I chose a yellow shirt. For weeks ahead of time, I carried it around with a Sharpie. My friends took turns writing their names on it. A few wrote words of encouragement, or scripture on it as well.

I was ready for the early morning, and had a ziplock of thirteen PowerBeans - one for the start and one for each mile along the way. That ended up being more encouraging than I ever expected. By the time I hit mile 8, there were only 4 left in the bag - a quick visual that I was nearly done.

What I wasn't expecting was "Team 413". I didn't know such a thing existed. What I did know was just as I needed it most, I'd see a runner with a shirt that said "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". Often, as I'd pass them, I'd thank them for their shirt.

My thoughts and prayers are with the runners, spectators, performers and organizers this year. It is supposed to rain.

Above all, God, please keep them safe.

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