Up at 4:45 AM.
Half a cup of coffee and a banana.
Double, then triple check, to make sure all running essentials are accounted for.
6AM parking (on the street - free on Sundays - score!)
6:30 Bagel and Orange Juice, private bathrooms, heated tent - all thanks to the friends and family who helped up raise enough money to be a part of the VIP experience!
7AM stretches and jumps to shake out the jitters
I've said before how much I enjoy this race in Columbus and all the reasons why I do.
A weekend away for Paul and I, getting back to where we lived when we first were married.
Experiencing Columbus in the fall is the best time to experience Columbus
The whole race is a great symbol of our earthly race, pushing through to the finish. As an excerpt from 2010, when I ran my first half states:
Training for a big race has quite the correlation of running the race of life spiritually speaking. Both take discipline, perseverance, and remembering how great it will be at the end when we finish! Although the finish line at the race is a far shot from heaven, it definitely has a great feeling when you know you ran the race well, gave all you got, and finished with a smile on your face. And I know the crown of victory I get someday will far outshine the medal hung around my neck this weekend! There were all types of runners (19,000 this year, 2015) coming from all walks of life. But one thing you felt throughout the crowd was runners encouraging others they didn't even know to continue on and reminding them of the finish ahead. How important it is to encourage our fellow Christians to continue on even when everything is aching, and remember the prize at the end!
And now, for the last 3 years, we've been running as Children's Champions, raising money for Nationwide Children's Hospital, one of the top Children's Hospitals in the country who never turns a child away for failure to pay.
As always, we run in memory of Bryer. The sweet little boy who already ran and finished the ultimate race.
And as always, we run in support of his parents, Justin and Carey, and Bryer's siblings, who walk through life daily with an empty spot in their lives.
And as an added cherry on top of an already inspiring, awesome day: Paul ran a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon.
As you can see, it so much more than completing a marathon, or half-marathon. We may have done the running, but the running was done for others, those who may never have a chance to walk this side of heaven. And all the running was done to God's glory.
He is the one who makes us capable and gives us this opportunity to move our bodies in worship to Him.