Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

How can I let this day go by without shedding a tear. Last year I was standing on a stage in Camp Buehring, Kuwait leading a Memorial Service for over 3,000. I remember the hundreds, thousands, millions...who have lost their lives in serves to the ideas of freedom. I shared with my wife that it is easier for me to be deployed among those service than sitting here in the comfort of my home. Here I remember the cost...I remember those I've stood besides serving...and I remember their families and their children. Back in 2005, I spent Memorial Day with a one year old whose father earlier that day died in a plane crash in Iraq. I remember them...and I count myself have walked beside such heroes.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Marine Corp Historic Half Marathon

The quality of the Marine Corp Marathon organization re-established themselves to me as one of the best. The Marine Corp Historic Half Marathon in Fredericksburg, VA was outstanding. The logistics were again outstanding, the volunteers second to none. After the debacle at the Frederick, MD, Half Marathon, it was a refreshing joy to run a well managed race.

It was warm, but great volunteers saved the day.  The course was tough, but I was able to complete the half in 2:04:47.  If you are thinking of doing a Half-Marathon, this is one you want to do.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sister's Inspiration

I was blessed by having two great older sisters. My eldest sister, Ann died a few years ago. Before her accident that eventually took her life, she was always trying to make life better for others. As a school teacher, youth director at church…you name it she was always doing for others. When she finally died, her organs were donated to several individuals. She was an inspiration.

My next oldest sister has been busy raising a family and working in her church. A few years ago as her youngest child left home, she started walking and did the Austin Half Marathon, which made me very proud. But this past year she topped that effort and made me start to reconsider why I’m doing all the running I’ve been doing. She ran the Houston Half Marathon, but she did it for the Presbyterian Children Home. She raised money in memory of my father, but she also did something to raise awareness. That inspired me.

This past weekend while running the Frederick Half Marathon, I can across a flier for Team World Vision. “World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, family and their communities worldwide…by tackling the cause of poverty and injustice.” My wife and I have been supports for years of World Vision. Now I’m going to sign on to help them raise awareness while I run.

A few weeks ago a media personality made disparaging remarks about certain churches and organization seeking to promote social justice. I have been troubled by that comment. All Christians are about social justice. It is a mandate to our faith. Yes, we will always have the poor among us, but we are also our brother/sister keeper…and that means we have a responsibility. There are people who are stuck in poverty all around this world…and I’m going to try to make a difference.

So I’m adding a link to World Vision’s website on this…and I’m going to start raising money for them. Hope you will donate, I am…my pledge is $100 for every race I run this year and hopefully next year even more. We all have a responsibility to use our talents for others.

And for my sister who inspired me…thanks…you’re a great big sister.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hot Half

Okay, who turned on the heater.  I walked out to the car at 4 am this morning to head for the Frederick Half Marathon, in Frederick, MD and it was like 70 degrees.  I honestly was thinking it would have been in the 50s or 60s, but 70s...that nuts.  So I started drinking water and pumped in about 2 liters before the rae.  And I'm glad I did.  It got over 75 degrees before the end of the race and that for me is hot.  I ran a good race, not earth shattering like the National, but solid non the less.  I pull in across the finish line in 2:05:26, about 3 minutes slower than the National effort.

This course had problems from the get go.  It is going down as I did it, and I won't be back.  The course was advertised as flat for the first 13 miles and then rolling hills to the finish of the marathon.  But the truth is the first half was also rolling hills.  Granted there were no major inclines on the course, but there was very little flat.  You were going up or down.  The second problem with this course was it was twisted.  There were more turns from one street to the next that it was impossible for the crowd of runners to manage the narrow streets and corners got clogged with runners making the turns.  The final and most important problem with the course was the lack of volunteers.  There were aid stations, but they got back logged with runners trying to get water off the tables because there were at times only a handful of volunteers.  Give the heat, that was not a good thing.  I saw at one water stop, a runner knock over about 30 cups of water trying to get one.  The poor volunteer was trying his best to help, but for the runners coming up behind me, they were not going to get water at that stop.

So given the heat and the problems with the course.  I'm glad I did it.  I did a good job, but this is one that I'm not sure I'll run again.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Hiking on the AT and C&O at Harper's Ferry

It was a beautiful day here in Maryland, so my son and I went for a little 5 mile hike on the AT and C&O trails this afternoon.  Hope you enjoy the pictures.  And tomorrow, I'm running the Frederick Half Marathon...hopefully the rain will hold off until after the race.