While it is a little known fact that I was born in Anchorage Alaska, if you ask me where I call “home”, without hesitation I will tell you Cleveland, Ohio. I actually grew up in a little town called Bedford on the east side of the city, but Cleveland is my city. The city is the punchline in many jokes and is often referred to as “the mistake on the lake”. I like to say that it might be a mistake, but it’s our mistake! I love Cleveland. Some of my greatest memories begin and end in Cleveland. That is why this weekend is so special to me.

On Sunday morning, I will rise at 5:00am in order to be at the starting line to run the Cleveland Half Marathon at 7:00am. This is the final half marathon in the 4 in 4 weekends in 4 cities. More important than the half marathon is the Celebration of Life service for my Mom which will take place later that afternoon. Although Mom passed away on March 5, this is our first opportunity to meet together with friends and family in our hometown. I cannot wait to thank the many people that supported, encouraged, prayed and mourned with us. I look forward to sharing stories of the amazing woman that changed anyone she came in contact with.

Over the course of the 13.1 miles I run on Sunday morning, I plan to reflect and honor my Mom with each step. This race is my way of thanking her for running her race with grace, with passion for the lost and with perseverance through pain. She ran her race and today sits at the feet of her King. Sunday will be a day filled with emotions but I can’t think of a better setting than Cleveland Ohio.

To our friends in Cleveland…..I’m coming home.