Here is a recap of Sunday’s marathon-
Woke up before my alarm at 4:20am and saw the notification 3 more individuals received clean water! What a motivating start to marathon day!
I arrived at Charity village around 5:30am for our team’s pep rally. It has been a blast getting to know some of the new team members–one of them I recently found out is the daughter of one of my Father’s groomsmen! Two of my fellow teammates, Tyler and Zeke, were hoping to run the same pace as I and we agreed to try and run together at the starting line. The plan worked for the majority of the race and I am grateful to both of them for pushing me to keep moving when it began to hurt around mile 6.
The first few miles were a lot of fun. The crowd was energizing and the weather was perfect. Around mile 2, I saw my friends Jackie and Janet for the first time. These girls chased me and several of our classmates all over the city! Their screams rejuvenated my spirits multiple times throughout the race. At mile 6 I realized opting to run the race differently than my original strategy was probably a mistake, however there was nothing I could do about it at that point. For the next 17 miles, every time I took gel (runners fuel) my stomach would cramp up and I would feel nauseous for the next 1.5-2 miles. Realizing my body wasn’t digesting properly, I switched to Gatorade early and began pouring water over myself at each hydration station.
Throughout the middle of the race, I was encouraged by seeing so many friends and family come out to cheer me on! Thank you Orah, Alia, Amena, Tim, Mr and Mrs Hayes, Hans, Allie, Shiela, Sarah, and everyone else I may have forgotten (my brain is still refueling.) My parent’s and youngest sister, Lydia, had come to Chicago to cheer me on and were able to find me twice throughout the course. Zeke’s first reaction when he saw Lydia was, “she looks just like you.” I may have spent too much energy laughing at that comment and all the political signs spectators held up throughout the race. Around mile 17, Zeke had an incredible second wind and started speeding up (Tyler had fallen back a few miles before due to some knee pain that my Advil couldn’t help) At that point I opted to listen to my body and slowed up.
I truly hit the wall around mile 21/22. I began praying that God would give me wings to finish this race and provide someone to cheer me on every .5 mile. It was taking every mental game I knew to not stop and walk. Guess what? For the next 4-5miles every 4-5 minutes someone cheered for me by name! Besides spectators, I saw my family once more, my dear friends Josh and Chloe twice, my classmate/teammate Sarah, and got a shout-out from Jansen over a loud speaker.
Mile 25– I perked up. I felt a bit of a kick starting and began to really focus on my arms and breathing. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” “Water. Hope. Life” and “Try hard, do good, finish strong” were the thoughts rolling through my head. I was able to charge up the hill at 26.05miles and pick up the pace a tad bit at the end.
3:07:14. I didn’t walk, I didn’t stop, and I ran 9 minutes faster than last year!
The first text I saw after crossing the finish line was from my older sister, Emily, saying she was watching me finish online which meant a lot! A few steps off the finish line, another runner approached me by name and said some very nice, encouraging things to me. It took me a second to remember we ran together a few times last year at group runs. Since last year, this individual has clipped minutes off his time and finished at 3:00:30 this year! Couldn’t be more proud of his determination and dedication to the sport and providing services for adolescents struggling with depression.
Battle wounds–Lost a toenail.
Besides having difficulty with descending stairs and sitting down/standing up from most surface levels–I feel energized and recovered! I even learned a country line dance last night per roommates request.
The best part–Currently $8,220.40 has been raised. Clean water for life has been secured for 164 individuals!! I will continue to fundraise for the 36 individuals still waiting this next week before my fundraising page closes on Sunday! Would you consider joining the fight to end this clean water crisis?