I feel an urgency to sit at the keyboard and spill out the story, lest my own heart forget. I don’t want the events to die away like the soreness of my leg muscles. Each day since Marathon Monday, I feel less aware as the glory of Boston fades, and I re-enter Haiti life which I love so desperately.
Like the Gatorade stands that gave energy and water, so God energized my soul through the process of marathon training. Like volunteers with paper cups of water God met me at every mile, washing me clean with heaven sent help.
I had only one goal and that was to finish the 26.2 miles. I’m older and slower than I was when I ran my first marathon 12 years ago but I knew I could still reach the finish line. What I didn’t know was how complicated training would become and how many people it takes for a runner to cross the finish line. My heart is so very grateful for the team of people that made this happen. I’m still overwhelmed by their goodness and love to me.
I flew into Boston a week early to enjoy my family who live there and settle in with my running sister Charleen. When I arrived the house had been taken hostage by a virus, causing hours of vomiting and diarrhea and days to recover from. Fear started knocking on my gate. After training in over 90 degree heat I was looking forward to a spring time marathon day. Day two after my arrival there was snow on the ground. Isn’t it spring yet? I couldn’t thaw out. I walked around in layers of clothing, dodging kisses from recovering virus victims. I did silly things like buy hand sanitizer and a fleece running jacket. The journey back to trust needed to happen. I needed to look back and see the hand of God through my training. I needed to drive the stakes of God’s mile markers back into my heart. I needed to remember He is faithful.
He is faithful indeed. Marathon Monday was a lovely day with spring sunshine and my fleece jacket got tied around my waist and given away as soon as possible. I felt great and was eager to run. The joy was palpable! Runners, at the starting gate, seemed ready for victory. Fans cheered and there was not a stretch of the entire 26.2 miles that had an open space. Every spot was filled with fans who stayed from the start to the finish, many hours later. Speedy elite runners and recreational charity runners all got support and encouragement. What a gift! What fun!
At mile 13 I saw Troy and Tara! Troy, the PR man had the camera and Tara was in running clothes. I pulled her in and we ran together the rest of the race side by side. It was fitting, we trained together and now we ran together. Such joy!
At mile 20 John, his sister, our daughter Morgan and others were there to greet us and cheer us on! What fun! Adoptive mom Karen came down from Vermont. Other friends were scattered throughout the miles and I heard their cheers. At the finish we met up in the family area where cheers of joy greeted us. My speedy sister and Joanne from Calvary Chapel had finished earlier and were waiting for us.
Only the black toenail remains. Clothes were washed, planes boarded, and we are home in Haiti again.
My finisher’s medal is tucked away in my keepsake drawer. Marathon accomplished. I’ve slipped back into the never-ending race of life in Haiti. It’s a race with lots to laugh about and some hard struggles with mile long hills. Heartline, with all its different programs, seeks to provide opportunity for men and women to succeed. So often all someone needs is a chance, a class, an opportunity, a skill and they are off and running.
We are still needing funds for the race. The marathon is finished but the race to help Heartline help others is still on. Join us! Run with us! Click here to give to reach the total of $1000 per mile or $26,000