In just over six weeks, ten of us will be running the Pittsburgh Marathon. Now before you think we’re rockstars for running 26 crazy miles each, let me dispel that. We’re running the race with two teams of five. The legs run from 4.8 miles to 6.2 miles. Collectively, we’ll run 52.
Still, we’re training hard. I’m running more than I’ve ever run. My knees hurt more than they’ve ever hurt. I look more ridiculous than I’ve ever looked finagling the weights in the gym and running with Paul’s wireless headphones like an orthodontic apparatus under my chin. (It rests on the back of your neck, in case you’re confused too. I knew something didn’t seem quite right.) Ridiculous, I tell you.
Anyway, I am thrilled about this race. I am thrilled about our teams. My brother is driving from Rhode Island to run in it. (This means the world to me.)
My sister in law Ashley is also running in it. (She is the real runner in our family. We train together on Sundays and that girl doesn’t fool around. Sometimes she scares me.) I’ve also coerced my good friend Kathleen to run. (The second ask was the charm.) Somehow, Kathleen will run faster than all of us without breaking a sweat, on no sleep, and with three kids in tow. She makes me smile.
Rounding out the teams are friends from church – high school and college age students. Admittedly, we’re a diverse collection of runners. However, in six weeks and even now as we train, we’re running for one purpose.
We’re running to raise money for International Justice Mission (IJM). All of the proceeds from our run will go to meet the needs of IJM, a human rights organization that serves as a voice to those who have been silenced by modern day slavery. I’ve talked a lot about IJM on this blog. Among many things, their work prevents the trafficking of men, women, and children, provides after care services for victims, and prosecutes offenders.
I know this sounds crazy, but we’re hoping to raise a collective $2,600 towards this cause. We figure that’s $100 a mile. We would really love if you would support us, in whatever way you can. You can visit here to support us financially. You can feed us carbs, make big signs, throw water at us, or cheer along the way. You can also pray. We would be grateful for anything and everything.
Whenever I think about this run, I get giddy like our son catapulting off our bed into his beanbag chair. I get all tangled up like spaghetti with fears that my knees just aren’t going to make it. But mostly, there are these words that come to the forefront of every training session:
To give good news to the poor.
To bind up the brokenhearted.
To proclaim freedom for the captives.
To release prisoners from their darkness.
To provide justice.
To comfort all who mourn.
To provide for those who grieve.
To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes;
the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. (Isaiah 61)
Jesus came for that purpose. To restore what has been lost.
And like a newborn puppy awkwardly finding its feet, I’m scampering along.
Would love for you to run along with me.
Much Love (and Thanks),