Yesterday my wife, Gayle, and I were among 27,000 participants in the Baltimore Running Festival. Helping Up Mission (Team HUM as we are called) was 100 strong – made up of HUM program members, staff, graduates and friends of the Mission. We participated in all the races, including one little guy in the kids Fun Run!
Gayle and I completed the 13.1 mile Half-Marathon in about 3 hours, a good bit ahead of my wife’s goal. But it wasn’t easy and we both hurt – before and after crossing the finish line.
We did have lots of help along the way, cheering crowds along every city street and 2 or 3 dozen times people yelling out, “Yeah Helping Up Mission.” In addition, HUM staff member David Carriker caught up to us and we finished the race together. Just for the record – that means we started ahead of him and, finishing together, David had a better time than we did!
Our strategy was to run the downhills, walk the uphills and do whatever we could on the flat at her pace. Gayle had never even walked 6 miles before, so it was a formitable challange for this almost 60 year old lady. But she did it with class and style!
Gayle loved being part of something so big and special. She also loved being part of Team HUM – she helped us raise funds for HUM through this event.
This was my 5th Half-Marathon at the Baltimore Running Festival and, hands down, my best. Not my best time, but the most fun – because we did it together! Wonderful memories. Maybe you should consider joining us next year – we could even start a movement!
One Step at a Time,
Pastor Gary Byers
Spiritual Life Director