Saturday was a windy day for a 15K run. It was cool with strong winds blowing westerly. The cool temperature was fine. It was in the mid 6o's and could have been much cooler in fact. But the wind was another story.
I got in line with 21,000 other runners around 8 AM for a 8:30 start. They play Chariots of Fire to begin the race and a cannon shot is the official start.
When the shot was fired, I moved forward with a big stop. No one moves at the beginning except those right at the front of the starting line. Those are the elite runners. They can run the 9.3 miles at about 42-43 minutes. That is a 4.5 minute mile average for 9.3 miles. Now that is moving fast.
My pace is around 10 minutes per mile, but actually I run the 9.3 a little slower than that. I had hoped to run the 15K in 90 minutes or so, but it was just too windy.
Our church manned a water station at the 4 mile mark giving water to thousands of runners. I was thrilled and proud to see so many willing people offering water. That was the most special part of the race for me. I needed the water to run and all the other runners did too. What does the Bible say about offering a cup of water in His Name?
Another part of the event was the joy of having family and friends run too. Mark, my stepson, ran as well as Caleb, a friend of Mark's from Lakeland. Two of our grandchildren ran in the kid's run which is a 1 mile run. I was so proud of Cole and Paige. They ran great races too!
I changed into a dry shirt for this last picture. I was cold and wet!
I ran on past them mile after mile. Actually I felt strong until the last mile. That is the mile over the Hart Bridge. That is huge and tough. The winner of the men's division said that the wind was brutal. He was right. The conditions going up and over that bridge were tough.
As I ran up the bridge my strength drained from me. The wind kept pushing me. Once the wind nearly blew me over. Other runners were struggling more than me. In fact, one lady fell at the top of the bridge and had to be helped down by paramedics.
Several times as I struggled up the bridge I wanted to quit. I didn't think I could make it, but I kept running. I envisioned the end. I envisioned the finish line. I rememberd a sign someone was holding up just before I started the bridge incline. It read, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I kept running step by step and finally reached the top. I made it.
Now, it was downhill all the way to the finish.
As I approached the finish line, I scanned the sidelines of the street for Wanda. Finally, I saw her. I began to wave. I waved giving glory to God. I had finished the race.
At the end as you cross the finish line, they give medals to hang around your neck. To get one, you had to show them your running bib with your name on it. It proved you had signed up. They had your name written down. It showed that you had registered to run. Now, as you crossed the finish line you could receive your medal.
Isn't that like heaven?
Don't you have to register with God?
Doesn't God have to have your name written down in the Lamb's Book of Life?
Don't you have to finish the race of life?
Then, as you complete the race for eternal life, can you receive the reward of heaven.
That is my plan. I plan on finishing the race of life. I have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. He has written my name down. I plan on finishing the race.