Wow, that was great! At 7:30 this morning Heather and I met up with 5 other friends to push off on a 13.1 mile journey from Dublin to downtown Columbus. The temperature at race time was a cool 55 degrees. It was so great to line up with friends from churches, childhood and neighbors. What a moment to look at how one theme united each one of us and made the strangers fast friends. The pre-race commentary and jokes made the task ahead seem less intimidating. I happened to be the center of many of said jokes because I didn’t read the instructions about no headphones. I ignored the rule (they are called “ear buds” was how I justified that by the way).

The race started at a quick pace as six of us had lined up by the “pace setters” carrying the 8:30 pace (a 1:51 target time). Within the first few miles we had all spread out to our paces of choice and I found myself quickly on my own with some ahead and some behind. Heather and I were separated which seemed foreign to me but we had all agreed we would meet at the finish line. By mile 3 Heather and I were again together and would stay that way until around mile 6. There came a point where she motioned for me to go ahead so I pushed on towards the 2nd half.

The last 7 miles were a blur. It was a blessing I cannot begin to put into words. Somewhere around mile 8, I was crossing an intersection and the new Casting Crowns song (Until The Whole World Hears) came on my iPod. I will NEVER forget this moment. From head to toe, I was covered in chills. I literally had tears in my eyes as I could feel a lift in my spirit to finish this race strong. I was reminded of the message on my shirt to be FEARLESS. I can’t explain it, but I will never hear that song the same again. I felt the Lord giving me a shot of adrenaline and the command to “run the race” both this one and the spiritual journey of life. Incredible moment. Words cannot express what happened at mile 8. It was a mountain top moment. Period.

Tale of the tape:
Final Time: 1:48:27
Pace: 8:16
Place: 299th out of 1300
Age Group: 47th

I would be remiss to not extend some special thank you’s. First off, thank you to my lovely bride. She once again provided the support and strength I needed for a memorable day. Second I want to extend a special thank you to my good friend since high school, Jeff Korbini. We never spent one day training together, but were silent motivation the entire time to prepare for this day. It was great to share in the finish and the memories. Special thank you to his wife Lori for taking pictures and being our cheering section at several points throughout the race. Lastly, I want to thank the great new friends I have made at Thomas Nelson Publishing.¬†Ashley, David and Susan all went out of their way to make sure we had our shirts to spread the message of the new Max Lucado book¬†FEARLESS (review coming this week). I appreciate each and every one of you and your friendship!

Now for some pictures.