Last Saturday I had the awesome privilege of being the guest of honor at a race that was organized in my honor. My friends Melody and Teagen got the sweet idea to put together a race celebrating my accomplishment in training for and finishing my first half marathon. It was such a special day!
We all met at the Gresham Main City Park and ran a course marked out by the lovely Teagen. The 5k route was an out-and-back course marked at the halfway point with this lovely sign;
Look! It's "Muffins & Love!"
Then the 10k course was a repeat of the first 5k. There was a great crowd! 15 people in all, if my count is right. Mostly people from my church, Core Life Church, and a couple people even used the opportunity to bring some of their run-loving friends along! We were also joined by two doggies and a toddler... mine. :)
We all lined up together and took off when Teagen announced the start of the race. My hubby surprised me by bolting off right at the start. It took me a while to catch up with him, and I still didn't even catch up with him except for when he was doing the "walking" portion of his Couch-to-5k routine. Apparently he's a super-stud runner in hiding.
My son humored me by riding along in his stroller for quite a while. At one point he looked up at me and said, "running!... DOWN! running!" I asked if he wanted to run with me and he said, "YEAH!" So I unbuckled him and we kept going. As you can see from this picture, he was really plowing along.
And then he fell hard on his hands. After a little snuggling and a couple kisses from Mommy he was ready to keep going. Daddy had heard Ethan crying and came running back to us so we could all finish together. Ethan ended up riding Daddy's shoulders for the rest of the race.
So my stud of a husband finished his first 5k while running and walking with a toddler on his shoulders. What a champ! While we were slowly making our way along the course, I got some great pictures of our friends having a fun time.
Daniel and I took quite a while to finish, but eventually we did! We ended up catching our friend Jonie who had gone past the turn-a-round point quite a ways, and she finished with us. Everyone was at the finish to cheer us in, and even used an extra dog leash to put up a "finish tape" for us. So much fun!
After all that fun, we all went and had a nice big breakfast at McCrae's. And then us Congdons went straight home and took a family nap! The proceeds from the race were given to me in support of my running journey. Having that many people show up because they've been inspired by my story or just want to cheer me on was a huge blessing in itself. But then to see all those people fork over dough to show their support was pretty humbling. After covering the costs of the race (ie, awesome post-race yummies, water, and some sweet customized race-bibs!) they gave me nearly $100.
So what's a girl to do with $100?
I've been sitting on that one for almost a week. Should I use it to pay for the Marathon training clinic? For a race fee? To cover the hours my husband lost (he has no vacation pay) for taking us to Florida? Hmm...
Then I had a fabulous idea! The whole point of this journey has been - and will be - because I want every aspect of my life to bring glory to Jesus. Thanks to the solid teaching I've experienced at Core Life Church, I've been really impacted by the urgency of spreading the truth of the gospel to those who don't have access to it, and to the mission of training up people who can go take that message. Right now our church has a college student who is away studying at Capernwray Bible School in Europe. As part of their training, they are spending part of the summer in Africa. The main goal of short-term trips is to get people exposed to the fact that God can use them in HUGE ways if they are just willing to take a risk. I'm stoked for my friend Becca Norman and the journey she's taking, and thought "what better way for my journey to bring glory to God, than to pass along this money - God's money - to be used for His kingdom?"
So, there ya' have it. I'm beyond thrilled to be able to pass that money along, and can't wait to hear about the ways the Lord works in her and through her while she's following Him one step at a time.
You might even consider checking out her story and throwing some money her way to help her and her classmates get to Africa. I promise your gift will have eternal impact for the glory of God. :)
I had to close with this awesome picture of me, Kaylee, and Janelle.
Yes, that's me in a tutu
Yes, Kaylee looks grumpy... my fault. :) haha.