Matt and I, along with my brother, Jeff, and cousin, Lora, all ran the 1/2 marathon. My cousins Nick and Jennifer ran the 5K. My dad served as the race director (which he's done for the past 9 years), my mom organized the kids fun run with the help of my aunt, Deb, and my uncle and grandpa helped run a water stop along the race course. Overall, we had fun running alongside 1000+ runners on what turned out to be a beautiful Sunday morning.
As great as it felt to cross the finish line, I'd have to say the weeks of training are really what I learned the most from. This wasn't my first half marathon...but it was my first with Matt and my first in about 5 years. I loved the discipline of building up our weekly mileage and loved the avenues that running together gave Matt and I to encourage each other. I was also struck at the beginning of the race by the image of 1000 heads bobbing along together and then, even as people spread out throughout the race, by the fact that we were never running alone. People called out encouragements as they passed each other - people who had never met, but were united through the experience of running together on that muggy morning. My mind went to Hebrews 12:1-2
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith..."
What a great image of perseverance in the faith! I've thought back on those moments in the last 3 mile stretch various times in the past two days as we continue to trust God for our support by Aug. 4. We're not alone...we have amazing people supporting us through prayer that we might continue to run this race with endurance. Thank you! Please continue to pray...we are so grateful for you.