"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
This weekend I ran the first-ever Purdue Half Marathon, my fourth such endeavor. It was freezing. I crossed the finish line and nearly tossed my cookies (literally, I had just stuffed a Famous Amos in my mouth!) So, as a committed citizen, I feel it necessary to give the organizers some feedback. Here's my $0.02.
Event Organizers- You nailed it. For the "first-ever" I thought most everything went splendidly. Sign-up was easy. Website was informational. Signage along the course was neat and clean. Course was AWESOME! (Okay-- running UP Northwestern for the last mile was slightly death-defying, but I understand why it went that way. And sprinting DOWN the hill to the finish line was just awesome.) Perhaps reconfigure the post-finish line arrangement for next year? A thoroughly equipped water station right away would be stellar, and having the food just a few steps past that would be ideal. But, I get that you had sponsors to recognize, and you did.
Volunteers- Y'all rock. I tried to thank as many of you as I could along the way, but I know I missed many. The fact that you'd give up several hours of your Saturday morning to hand out water (and have it thrown right back in your face), or stop traffic (and take the curses that I'm sure the citizens of Greater Lafayette were spitting out), was super. At one water station I hugged a very drunk banana.
Which leads me to my next thought...
ENGAGE THE STUDENTS! All of the volunteers were awesome, but the students were nuts, and I loved it. They were jumping, clapping, high-fiving, and generally just totally motivating. Perhaps some of the fraternities and sororities need community service hours? Why not some sort of water-station cheer-squad competition? Weaving the course through a campus community of 40,000+ undergrads, there has to be a surplus of volunteers, no?
Citizens of Greater Lafayette- I am sorry. Our course wound all around town, and I'm not sure how well prepared you were. Some of you we're stuck right in the middle. Thank you for your patience... for honking... waving from inside your windows... and even coming out to cheer while you sipped your coffee. I do have to say that The Organizers had signage out all around town several days before the event, but with this being the first time you might not have realized that 2,000+ people were committed.
Team Indianapolis- Can you even believe it? MONTHS ago an idea was born... and by God's Grace and ever-abundant provision, Neelu's needs are being met. May all the glory go to Him! What a privilege to know that there were others out there training, raising money, and Trusting Jesus!
As Our Own- Your organization is awesome. I totally believe it what you're doing, and I'm so thankful for your incredible ministry. I will be praying for you!
Neelu- You are beautiful. You are SO loved. Your dark eyes and bright smile were on the forefront of my mind as I endured some super-hot training runs this summer... and even Saturday at mile 9 when my knees said, "We're done!" I never stopped thinking about you, your mother, and the incredible journey I can imagine that God has you on. Oh the plans He has for YOU! I'm so thankful to be a little-bitty part of it. You can't imagine how much you motivated me!
Mark your calenders: October 19, 2013. Lets do it!