Monday, July 3, 2023

2023 CER Run For Hope 5K - Troy


April 22nd, 2023 – Grass Valley, CA



3rd Male Overall


Robin Soares, Delaney Seeburger

I love coming to the Christian Encounter Ranch for their fundraising 5K run. Also it's challenging and beautiful Cross country course. 

Robin and I aren't in the best shape so line up in the middle. There's always a great introduction beforehand to the purpose of the Ranch. Knowing that your efforts are about to help the wonderful students that live there makes the motivation increase.  

We start off at a casual pace and at the first steep climb I tried to be efficient and conserve energy. Coming over the top there are a few young men always ahead and a woman near me who is making quick work of the technical single track. It fills me with joy looking around at the recreation areas and peaceful places of solitude. Thinking of the struggles we've had this last year, I find myself wanting to spend a few days here to spend time close to God.

I feel like I'm running better than expected as I approach the Long Hill up to the NID canal. I push well and am greeted by some cheering students directing runners.

It's flat now. I thank the Lord that I feel good physically. I'm able to talk to God, and He encourages me to trust Him more. I haven't been trusting Him enough. Right this moment up ahead at the first aid station as I get closer I realize that's the smile of Scott Gallagher! Scott was a great Christian encourager for me in college when I also was not trusting God enough. He was also from my church growing up. As I go by I tell him it's so good to see him. There's so much I'd like to talk to him about that I even consider stopping my race.. but I decide to look for him afterwards.

I crossed the canal and passed the young man ahead of me. I think I might be in first place. I look down across the canal to try to see Robin running. 

I finally see the :-) which indicates it's all downhill!

I cross back over grab some water and get ready for a fast descent. I feel really good and all the credit goes to God. I wind down through the fun single tracks and pop out onto the levy along the pond to the finish line. 24:03. 

I'm glad to finish and immediately pray to thank God.  There were actually two runners far ahead so I finished third. I go back out to see Robin come down the hill. Discourse is usually easy for her but since her knee injury earlier this year she has to be careful on any run. She's had a great attitude about it which is inspiring. 

Robin and I take some time to sit down in one of those peaceful areas of solitude on the ranch property. Talking and praying and thankful for each other.