Saturday, February 25, 2012

Then he said to him, "Follow me!"

John 21 ...     Lead the way!

When I found out I would be traveling for work to Fort Benning, Georgia, for two weeks in February, I felt like it was most certainly a gift. Firstly, Ohio is COLD in February. Secondly, I was excited about the work we would be doing. It was a multiday experiment, and I love experiments.  It also helped a great deal that I have great coworkers. It also didn't hurt that I was staying in an awesome hotel near the 15 mile Chattahoochee Riverwalk.  The weekend I would be in the South also happened to be the same weekend I needed a long run. After a quick search, I found the 26.2 with Donna Race to Finish Breast Cancer and signed up. 2.5 miles of the event were actually on the beach! Does it get any better?  Yup. I dropped an email to college bud, Major Mary, who happened to be stationed in Georgia and told her about my plan to spend the weekend in Jacksonville, Florida. She had a free weekend and met me in Jacksonville. I had enough frequent traveler points that I wound up paying very little for a nice place close to the beach. Bonus! A gift? Oh yeah.

I picked the run because the timing and location were right. When I signed up, it didn't really dawn on me that there was a lot more to the event.  On the bus to the start, I spoke with a woman who was a cancer survivor. She told me her husband was a retired Navy pastor, and it was her third time doing the event. She was running the half with her son. The first few miles of the race I was surprised that my thoughts were of my granny who passed away from cancer when I was 10. Running and crying aren't so easy to do since it makes it hard to breathe so I choked back some tears. One of my favorite parts of the course was running 2.5 miles along the beach. It wasn't long before I was grinning from ear to ear.

Seeing the survivors was inspiring. Seeing all the people who care about others who have lost the battle and those who are enduring the cancer struggle really made me think about how wonderful people can be. Many of the runners had the names of others on the backs of their shirts. Mary joined me at mile 20 for the last 10K of the run so we both managed to get in a great training day.

It was a beautiful course, and the entire thing was really a gift. I didn't know that I would get to run this, and I am thankful. God had a better plan than I.


  1. Glad you enjoyed Florida. You are the only person yet who has not mentioned how very cold it was that whole weekend!!!! I was feeling quite left out of the race activities, until I stepped outside, seemd God knew I'd be too cold and had a plan for me to snuggle under the covers that day!

  2. Holly, that very morning it was 13 degrees with a real feel of -3 in Ohio. It's all about perspective. ;-)

  3. It was an awesome day and an awesome time spent with a great friend. Truly blessed!!! Looking forward to the next adventure.