As the clock ticks softy, I am just a few hours away from running my fifth marathon. The road has not been easy, but it has been worth it. When I first began this task, in 2016, I was encouraged by my friends to give it a try. I worked hard, and in the end, completed my first marathon in May of 2016, at the Wisconsin Marathon, in Kenosha. I was happy to have finished my first marathon and even happier that I was done. The best part of the day was eating pizza and drinking Pepsi at a local pizza joint.
Since I was not satisfied with the outcome of that marathon, I ran another one, in Indianapolis, in November of 2016. I was pretty excited about that one and happy with my finish. I knew, at that time, that I would probably start to run marathons on a regular basis.
In 2017, I was working diligently for the Columbus Marathon, when the unexpected happened. I was taking my daughter to Whiteys, our local ice cream place, for a nice refreshing treat. When we finished, we got into the car, and my vision suddenly, turned upside down. I called my wife Heather, and she took me to the hospital. It was soon determined that I was having a stroke and that I needed to go to Iowa City to be treated. The Lord was with me, and I survived. As a result of the stroke, I was not able to run in Columbus.
After a few months of testing, the doctors said that everything was healed and that I could go back to running marathons. My training began soon afterwards.
In 2018, I trained hard and ran the WhistleStop Marathon in Ashland, WI. It was a great race and I got another personal best. I still was not satisfied with the end result, so I began training for the next race.
In early 2019, I began training for the Illinois Marathon in Champaign. That was a fun race on a fairly flat course. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot from my experience. Again, I was blessed to have another personal best, but still short of being able to qualify for Boston.
Now, three years after I started my marathon journey, I am about to embark on a quest, to qualify for the Boston Marathon, in 2021. In order to do that, I need God’s help to run this marathon, the WhistleStop, in under 3:23:00. This is a daunting task, but one that I am committed to trying. Last year, I enjoyed the cool temperatures and the nice scenery, but I hated the small rocks that kept getting into my shoes. This year, I have designed a shield system, that should protect my feet from harm.
The journey has been long, and it certainly has not turned out exactly the way that I thought that it should, but it has been a good journey. I have met a lot of great people, who have encouraged me to keep up the good work, and that has provided a great deal of support.
Psalm 143:1 says, “Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.” I am praying that the Lord would be gracious to me in this endeavor. If you get a chance, say a prayer for me as well. Pray that I would be safe, and that I would do my best.
I will let you know what happens!