Running and I have a long history. It started back in high school when I wanted to participate in team sports but never developed a knack for that eye-hand coordination thing. Running seemed to be an easy solution. All I had to do was put one foot in front of the other at a pace that was faster than walking, but not fast enough that I lost my lunch. I ran the 400 meter race, mostly because I wasn’t fast enough to be a sprinter and didn’t have the endurance to run much more than that. (For the record, you are supposed to sprint a 400.)
In the years that followed, I learned that while I wasn’t cut out to be a track star, running was something that I could do just about anywhere and it didn’t require much money to do it. It was a means to discovery, first with the new cities where I lived and then with the people I ran alongside. Running was also, as they say, “cheaper than therapy.” I’ve done a lot of praying, a lot of processing and a lot of learning over the miles.
Running has also become a way to connect with and serve my community. Years ago, my friend Katie Powers asked if I wanted to run a 5k through the neighborhood on Thanksgiving to support YoungLives. “Yes!!” was the immediate answer. Rick and I bundled up our boys, pulled out the double and single jogging strollers and joined what’s become a steadily growing tradition here in Hamilton.
As a family, we’ve had the joy of watching the race grow from year to year. It’s been amazing to see so many businesses, organizations and people from within Butler County and beyond come together to support the young women and children served by YoungLives. Our boys have grown right alongside the race, graduating from the strollers to running in the race themselves. stuffed race bags, marked the course and learned early on that community is not just something you’re a part of, it’s something you give back to as well.
I’m proud to be a part of the Hamilton Thanksgiving 5k. It’s given me an opportunity to take running to a different level, a meaningful one that impacts generations to come. Our family will be out there come November, cheering on the race participants and logging some miles of our own. We hope to see you there!