Saturday, April 21, 2018

CEM Rescue Run 5K–Troy - 2018

April 21, 2018 – Grass Valley, CA

1st Place, 40-49 (2nd Overall)
Anna, Ariel & Robin Soares, Elizabeth Katsura, Lauren Langhofer

Before the race starts I'm aware of my sore achilles that has been bothering me for a month. But I'm also aware the joy and excitement to be sharing why I race with Fellowship of Christian Athletes teammates.. The role I have is not to win but to be an athlete representing Christ.

After Charlie gives a summary of what cem is all about, he prays for us and the race is ready to start

Robin and Anna are towards the front Ariel and I are little farther back.

We all start running and suddenly I noticed someone falls. I slow down to make sure they’re okay in doing so I’m holding up quite a few people. I quickly see they are fine. Around the first Corner Ariel is right with me. Even after quarter mile she's still there. 9 year old and running with Dad.

Now we hit the first Steep Hill. Many kids slow down. I pull away from Ariel but I can still see her back there. After the climb We cross the bridge and descend through some beautiful twisty Trail. Sharp left turn over another bridge and then around the lake.

I'm thinking of Ariel and I look back hoping to see her and I do see her but she’s running right towards me "Ariel you went the wrong way you have to make a sharp left". Ariel calmly turns around and directs three or four people that also followed her to go back and they all get on the right path. I thank God that he allowed me to help because it would have been sad for her to get lost and not be able to finish her race. Now it's the hardest hill up to the canal. I encourage some other runners that I'm passing and I'm pushing hard myself.

I'm glad to get to the top but very winded and looking forward to recovering on the flat. I realize that we are running Upstream which actually means slightly climbing rather than running flat. Up ahead I see Anna chasing a man who might be leeding. Looking closer I can see he's in second place the actual leader is far ahead. I spend the whole section along the canal trying to catch up to Anna. I’m really impressed how fast she is running. She is really having a great race and I'm very happy for her. We make the turn and head up the backside of the canal and I’ve just about caught up to Anna. I'm proud of her. She is currently in second place. Suddenly she begins complaining of side cramps. They force her to slow down and even walk. She has been giving her races all to God and saying she's been trying to focus on him. I think that this will be one of those moments where God will help her if she seeks his help. I give her some advice and really want to stop and forget my race and help her anyway I can but I feel like it's supposed to be a moment between her and God only. I realized it could feel devastating possibly seeing her best race ever and having to let many pass her. As I run ahead,  difficult as it is, I pray that this will be a triumphant moment where God will answer her prayer and her relationship become stronger. It's great heading down towards the finish but I keep thinking about Anna.

After I finish I head back up hoping to see her come soon around the corner. I can see that she went from second place to 8 or 9 but finally she comes and she is running strong. Robin comes by and says that she is a trooper and afterwards I get to talk to her and learned that she did persevere. She understood that it may be a test from God and she was fine with it.

I know God works wonders at this Christian ranch. He also did wonders allowing Robin and I to run despite injuries, and giving Anna a unique important experience even though it was painful.