Running the St. Jude half-marathon was more fulfilling than I ever could have imagined. This feeling has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I was able to run it. When I first decided to participate I knew how blessed I was just to be able to consider such a task. I honestly can say that the abundance of grateful families and friends cheering me on and thanking me for helping their children with their fight for life means more to me than anything else I happen to have accomplished running this race. I knew I was doing this for a great cause from the beginning but it did not hit me until Friday night, when we picked up our packets and numbers, just how big of a part I would be playing in the lives of others. When I received a red bracelet bearing the name of an eleven year old child, the same age as my Connor, I knew that this was going to have a huge impact on me. I have always considered myself a compassionate person, one who is willing to give help to those in need by making a donation of some sort and never thinking about it again. However, this experience will never leave me and each encouraging phrase, scripture, and cheer will be etched in my mind forever. The pictures of the children who have lost their battles with catastrophic diseases and those fighting each day for there life will always be part of my soul now.
Through Godâ€™s will and grace, all five members of Team Running on Faith finished! I finished in 2:31.51. For those two and a half hours that I ran, I thanked God for the many blessings he has given me, I prayed for my teammates and all of the other runners, I prayed that He would continue to give me the strength I needed to finish the race (especially the last three miles), and I prayed for the children at St. Jude. It was cold (in the thirties),there were more hills in Memphis than we will ever encounter in Louisiana, and I had to use the port-o-potties quite often for tummy issues. Nevertheless it was a run filled with excitement and everyone around was happy and upbeat. Everyone just plodded through any discomforts they might have been feeling without any audible complaints, just smiles. I am ever so grateful to have been part of such a humbling yet spiritually rewarding event!
We have already started discussing plans for next year and I intend to do the full marathon instead of the half.
Team Running on Faith