Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Saturday, March 12, 2016

A Great Day to Run! Chase Race 2016

But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. ~ 2 Timothy 4:17

Blessed. Most definitely blessed. God continues to bless me with strength to run and spread the message of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ, and the message of the dangers of teen substance abuse. He blessed me with this gift of running to push on after Amanda was killed.

Today was the annual Chase Race in Conway, AR. It's a 2-Mile road race, held in memory of Chase Potter, son of race director Don Potter. This was the 11th running of the race, and Don announced record participation today.

I first ran this race in 2009, when I was 40-years-old. That first year, I finished in 17:24. I remember that race. I remember reaching the one mile mark and having to walk. That was two and a half years before my first marathon, and almost two years before Amanda was killed. A lot has happened in the years since my first Chase Race.

This year was my sixth time to run the Chase Race and God blessed me with a big PR! Last year I set my previous PR here at 14:20. This year, I set a goal to drop below 14 minutes. I missed that goal, by 2 seconds, but still finished with an 18 second PR! Chip time today: 14:02.

That was good enough for fifth place in my age group. Because this was an RRCA Grand Prix championship event, age group awards go five deep. This was my first ever age group award in a Grand Prix race! It honestly surprised me. I never expected to win an award in a Grand Prix race!

But God has given me strength. Because my improvement definitely didn't come from me. Only God can make an old fat man like me fast enough to win a trophy at a race. Thank you Jesus for all you do for me, running and everything else!

This race is always special because following the two-mile road race is a one-mile leashed pet race. Last year and the year before, I ran this race with Sandy, who was Amanda's dog. We won trophies both years for top ten finishes. So, this year, we ran it again. Once again, we finished in the top ten to bring home a trophy!

One day Sandy will be too old to run it with me. Before that, she'll get old enough that we'll run it but won't be fast enough to get a trophy. But we'll run it as long as we can, and do the best we can. I sure hope Amanda can see her little dog run. I know she'd be proud.

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