“Congratulations. Thank you for participating.” These were the words said to me as a marine put a medal around my neck. All throughout the 26.2 mile course, marines were lined up cheering the runners on, handing out cups of water and Gatorade for us and waiting at the end to put that medal around our necks. It was an indescribable feeling having the men and women who serve our country, serve us. In addition to the marines morale, there were paratroopers that jumped out of a plane holding an American flag that landed at the start line, a howitzer (cannon) that started the race and many historical monuments along the course that we ran by. If you can’t tell already, it was a fun race.
Fun? Did I just say running 26.2 miles was fun? Maybe I did, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t mental and physical hurdles along the way. I started feeling pain in my ankle and my knee around mile 6, which was somewhat normal in my training runs. In my training, however, I wouldn’t feel that pain until after mile 15, so you can only imagine my thoughts when I started feeling it so early in the race! I sent a quick text to Mo asking him to pray for my knee and my ankle. Within 5 minutes, a random spectator yelled out to me “Run forward for your ankles!!” Random spectator, or an answer to prayer? These sharp pains should’ve gotten worse, but they completely went away. Let’s call this miracle #1.
Miracle #2: If you would’ve asked me what my goal for my finish time was before the race, I would’ve said that I was hoping to break 4 hours, but would be happy with whatever time I got. I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself, knowing that ultimately this race was not about me and my personal gain, but about helping God’s children in desperate need. When I crossed that finish line at 3 hours and 58 minutes… I honestly couldn’t even believe it myself!
Miracle #3 is probably my favorite one. As you know, I had set a goal of raising $2,620.00 for World Vision. Up until the night before we left, I was still $765 short, not expecting to reach my goal. You can only imagine my surprise when I got a call from my sister, Anna, telling me she would pay the difference… What??? Anna is MY HERO and got me to my goal. But wait… there’s MORE. Mo’s brother and sister-in-law then put forward another huge donation… making my final total over $3,400 for World Vision. You can reach a goal… and then you can crush it. And God apparently would rather crush it!
Last, but not least, is the miracle the Mo was able to see me 7 different times along the course. He deserves a medal for that! From running from place to place, to jumping on DC’s subway, seeing a familiar face cheer for me 7 different times kept me going strong!
Fun Fact: Sean Astin (Samwise Gamgee in LOTR) ran in this race!
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-25