Where do I even start… this past weekend was amazing. It kind of all happened in a whirl wind and it’s a little depressing that it’s over…
I have been meaning to write about the run, the weekend in general, but every time I have sat down to do it… no words come out. Which, you all know, is rare. I always have words; too many words (Sean would say). But it has been really hard for me. In part, it has been because it was the most amazing run of my life and I’m a bit selfish and don’t want to share it with everyone (weird huh?), another part is, just thinking about how much time, nerves, emotions, pain I put into this…and in one day, it came and then it went…
The day started out beautiful. 6:30am we arrived in Charity Village, there was a great spread of food for us at the Team World Vision tent to help fuel our bodies. Unfortunately, the nerves had the better part of me and I visited the nasty port-o-potties more than I did the food table. (I’m sure you all wanted to know that.) I met another Big Al who has run 42 freaking marathons in his life and this was his 43rd. I had written “Alice” on the front of my shirt and “BIG AL” on the back so he called himself “Little Al” when he saw that I already was Big AL. He was super nice and told me not to worry, that I would finish… pretty sure he could feel my nervous vibes.
Around 7:30am we headed to the start line. The feeling of being surrounded by thousands and thousands of people who were out to accomplish running a marathon was incredible. From where I was standing, I couldn’t even see the start line! About 20 minutes after the starting gun was shot, I finally crossed the start line. From there it was an amazing journey through the best city in North America. I cannot tell you what it was like having SO many nameless people cheering for you, this sounds stupid but it made me believe in the goodness of people. I’m pretty sure I had the BEST cheering crew out there! They saw me a total of 5 times throughout the whole race and every time I saw them I was refreshed and encouraged to keep going. There were a total of 15 points along the race that I had a friend cheer me on. That was AMAZING.
The best part of it all was knowing that I was running for something more than myself, more than my own selfish goals, more than participating in such an incredible event. I was running for Zambia, I was running for children, families, clean water, health, I was running for Mersi (my sponsored child through WV).
It took me well over 5 hours to complete this marathon; to be honest, I am a bit disappointed with my time, but that wasn’t the point of my run. The point of my run was to run “26.2 for Africa”. And I did just that.
Last week I sent out my final “ask” email and in two days I raised over $800. WOW. I was SO overwhelmed by your generosity; I had only needed $500 more to meet my goal of raising $2,000… but the $$ kept rolling in. So a HUGE THANK YOU to all of my supporters. As of today, I have raised $2,335 for Team World Vision. As a team we have raised over $800,000. (They are still hoping to make it to $1 million before the end of the month.) Often times I get discouraged and frustrated by what we as rich North Americans could be doing for others but your generosity showed me that people do care. People want to make a difference when they’re given a chance.
So… I am committing right now to do just that. I’m going to give you another chance. I am committing to another year of fundraising, training, and pain. I am pledging to run the 2009 Chicago Marathon for Team World Vision. So, start saving that change, start thinking about how much good you will be able to do 2 years in a row for broken families and communities around this world. You have not heard the last of it from me yet! In the mean time, I’ll give you a break from my begging emails and give my knees a break from the constant pounding…
Thank you ALL so much again.
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31