I sprinted to the finish line and as I crossed I completed my 10th half marathon since I started raising money with Team World Vision in 2011.
And, even though this race wasn’t the fastest 13.1 I have run, my time of 2:51:52 was over 3 minutes faster than the same event a year ago. That’s called a PR, or Personal Record, and I will take it every time. I am one of those runners who judges his performance by his time. If I am not getting faster, than I feel like I am not getting better.
Going faster isn’t just a personal goal for every race. I am fully aware if I don’t speed up, I will be very much in danger of not being able to finish the Half Triathlon I am signed up for in August. Not only does my running have to get much faster, but my swimming and biking, as well. It’s one of the reasons why I am training so hard, to be able to finish that 70.3 miles that I will be attacking in four short months.
Ultimately, however, it isn’t as much about my progress in these races as it is about providing clean, healthy water to those in Africa that do not have easy access or close access (or even ANY access) to water. Over the last 3+ years, through YOUR generous donations, I’ve helped raise over $16,000.00. This provides an amazing amount of life giving water (and protection for children)! This is why I run. This is why I train. This is why I beg you every year and every race for another donation.
This point really struck home as I was getting ready for this Saturday’s race. It was early morning and I was alone in the house. I made coffee by going to the fridge and filling the coffee maker with filtered water. I took a bottled water out of the fridge to hydrate. I ran water to make my oatmeal. As I ran the water to brush my teeth, all of this easy and convenient access to water struck me. Unless you’ve seen the lack of water access in person, you cannot really understand it. We have cheap, safe water in overabundance. We have so much of it we often waste it and don’t even think about it. I don’t think we should feel guilty about having water, we at least need to be aware that not everyone does. And, with a little giving, we can change that.
When I was in Kenya, we learned that they have a saying, “Take what you need and share the rest.” Not only is that a saying, but we witnessed that it really is a way of life for many. It is a way of life for the group of widow farmers we met who raised crops and donated much of their produce to a group of orphans. We witnessed it with a group who formed a banking cooperative to help fund community projects with micro loans. We benefited from it when a group of older women we met with gave us these beautiful weaved baskets as gifts when we were all prepared to buy them.
I witness it every time one of you wonderful people donate to this cause. It is because of your LIFE GIVING donations that I run…
Hopefully each run will be faster, but my speed isn’t what is the most important thing…
Thank you for your support,