Yesterday, Colleen ran 26.2 miles. It was incredible. She participated in the IMT Des Moines Marathon with 1,634 other runners. She was running with the Iowans for Africa group from Orchard Hill Church in Cedar Falls. The group was running to raise support for a elementary school being built in Mozambique, in the region they sponsor. There were about 60 or 70 runners from Orchard Hill, all wearing bright yellow shirts. It was really cool to see so many of those shirts pass as we cheered the runners on.
It was a really cool experience, even as a spectator. As a runner, obviously it’s incredibly physically draining and difficult, but ultimately rewarding. And as a spectator, it’s such an interesting atmosphere, there is so much goodwill among the thousands of people around. Everybody wants everybody else to finish strong and do their best. We all cheered not only our small group of runners we knew but also the entire Orchard Hill team and all the other runners working hard.
Colleen ran with her small group of friends with whom she’d been training since May. They all finished great, each about three or four minutes apart from each other. I was able to catch up with them eight times around the course to cheer them on. Colleen did such a great job, her final time was 4 hours, 43 minutes, and 31 seconds, and her average mile time was 10 minutes, 50 seconds. So great. She kept a very steady pace throughout the whole race, and only really slowed down to a walk for a few seconds at most water stops. I couldn’t be more proud.
So hip hip hooray for Colleen. She was very strong and determined throughout the whole run. Now if she could just get me to do the next one with her! *tuba noise*