I have finished the race.
I have fought the good fight.
And I have kept the faith. (2 Tim. 4:7)
My dear friends,
As St. Paul said, I have finished the race; I have fought the good fight and I have kept the faith during the 31st Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon.
Although the weather was not that great because of heavy raining and chills, the runners’ spirit was great. Standing and waiting before the start line, I realized all I needed was faith, faith in God who has been running with me. When the race began, I was in good sprit, making the sign of the cross, and ready to go because I have trained for this for a long time. Almost a half way through the race, it was raining. However, about 17 miles, the sun came out, seemed to say, “Hey dude, this is a typical Cleveland weather. Don’t you know?”
I remembered I hit the dreaded wall last year around 20 miles, so I had prepared myself for that by keeping the pace, drinking enough water with the energy gels, and reminding myself that I could do it. Finally, I got to the point of 20 mile and pushed myself forward. I knew my condition was very good different from last year because I adapted the advice of Dr. Ed—the music director at St. Mary Seminary and has run with me last three years—on the need of training with interval, hill, and tempo runs. Thanks, Dr. Ed!
Increasing the speed, I started reciting Hail Mary which helped me focus on the race, not getting weary. Running with full speed through the downtown was really exciting. I listened to my deep and rhythmical breathing, feeling no one was around and no time was there. I pushed harder, trying not to leave any regret behind. When the finish line appeared, it was the almost end of the three-hours long prayer. It was consoling as much as fulfilling. I not only finished the race but also fought the good fight! My time was 3:14:03.
I made it at last! It took me three years to be qualified to be able to run the Boston Marathon. Now I am dreaming of running the 113rd Boston Marathon in April, 2009.
Our four 8th graders and other youth members finished their 10K as well. They were happy about their opportunity to run the race, helping out the poor in Africa. We all are grateful for God’s grace in which we share the spirit of Living Man.
I deeply appreciate your prayer, support and friendship!
The Glory of God is the Living Man!
Faithfully in Christ
Living Man Fr. H.Paul