Well the 50k is officially on the books! Tony and I ran a respectable race for a couple of flat landers. We ran strong and hard. We both had our weak moments but lifted each other up and helped each other carry on. We ran the race and we ran to win!
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize” -1 Corinthians 9:24-25.
We knew before we started that we would not come in first but we ran with the intent of winning anyway. Tony and I had an interesting conversation after the race where he said why would anyone run a race like this for fun? Why would they ever enter and not intend to win?The race of life very much parallels the race we just ran. It is long and hard. There are moments of wonder and euphoria and there are moments of pain and despair. If I learned anything for this long hard journey it is that I want to win the race for Gods love and mercy. I want to place as high as I can because unlike the race I just ran I only get one chance to run Gods race. After the hard realization of this I now hope to make amends for my slow start and finish strong.
One thing I could never have anticipated was the sheer difficulty of the terrain. I had no idea what was in store for us. In Austin there are all of 5-10 hills. The race we ran was full of extreme of ups and downs and two large climbs the height of Spirit Mountain. Then there were the rocks and the roots and the wooden stairs and mud covered by leaves everywhere. I can not emphasize enough the extreme difficulty of the relentless terrain. Around mile 17 we were cruising and everything changed. Tony took a spill on some mud and his leg cramped intensely. Our pace slowed which in hindsight was a blessing. The torrid pace we were running was about to take its toll. By mile 25 I could no longer run downhill without a lot of pain and Tony could no longer run uphill. We took turns leading and leapfrogging each other until the last 4 miles which were a downhill decent into Duluth.
As I could not run downhill I kept shouting at Tony to just take off and I thought he did but at the last aid station with only three miles to go there he stood with all our wonderful family and friends waiting patiently for me to arrive to finish this thing. What they did not know was right before I came to that aide station I was at my lowest point of the race. Emotionally drained I arrived to a sight of support and kindness and love. I struggled to choke back tears so hard I could not even breath. It was then I knew I had already won. My race was complete. I only had to make and it official and descend the three painful miles to the finish line. The last half mile I looked ad my watch and I was running a pain free 6:56 pace on flat land with my two oldest kids trying hard to run by my side. After 30.5 miles of difficult terrain I felt a comfortable peace and resolve surrounded by my family and being watched over by God.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us…run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” -Hebrews 12:1-3.
Jesus did not grow weary and he had Gods love. We too should not grow weary as we also have Gods love. I prayed for God to have the Holy Spirit descend on me multiple times during the race. And although I did not begin to speak in tongues or have any major ahh ha moments God has shown me that no matter how much pain I experience I am loved. So let us all run the race!
From here I plan to continue to train to run a 100 mile race to help raise money to feed people who have more pain than I have ever endured. If you want to help you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.