We just can’t seem to get away from all of this running stuff. The Honolulu Marathon was yesterday and Team in Training was calling our name yet again. So, although we had to wake up at 4:00 in the morning to drive down to town for the event, we said we’d be there and we were. It would have been an entirely different matter if we’d had to run it, of course, but we didn’t. We just had to make millions of peanut butter and honey sandwiches and direct the hundreds of purple-jerseyed people who were walking around like they just got off a rather uncomfortable horse towards the TNT tent. Good memories of our own 26.2 mile ride were abundant, I assure you.
The marathon is a lot different when you are on the opposite side of the finish line. We were actually able to see the winners come in and are happy to report that we probably would have been over half way through when the first African broke through the tape at 2:13:39.
Besides being able to see the winners, we also got a peak into how much preparation and dedication goes in to getting everyone across the finish line. Team in Training, for example, had chapters from all over the US represented. After the race all of the runners/walkers were supposed to check in at the TNT tent to let us know they got in and were okay. But some forgot, some couldn’t find our tent, and some were still on the course nearly 12 hours after the race began. All of the coaches, coordinators, and staff members continued to keep track of each of their teammates until they had all crossed the finish line. When we left, there were still 4 people left on the course, and the TNT staff was ready and waiting to greet them all as they finally crossed the line. They knew their pace, where they were on the course, and approximately how long it would take them to walk the last few miles.
Since it was Sunday and we didn’t get to go to church, I couldn’t help but find some sort of way to tie the gospel into our experience. So, I’d like to encourage all of you to take a minute to think about the support group you have on the other side who are tracking your progress, watching and rooting for you as you struggle through the difficult miles when you feel like you’ve hit the wall, and anxiously awaiting the moment when you cross the line so they can finally greet you with the words, “Well done!”