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Run is done! I completed the whole 15-1/2 MILES!

Posted by on in Capital Campaign
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First, I want to thank all of you for your support and prayers as I have completed the task and goal of running 15 miles for NEW CITY FELLOWSHIP last Saturday.  I really would not have done this if it was not for your encouragement and prayers and I felt it all along the race.  God is good!

Second, remind me never to do anything like this again.  PLEASE stop me!

Third, the campaign is not over!  We are going to announce plans to start PHASE 2.  More details to follow.

Fourth, the money raised through PHASE 1 was just the amount that God wanted us to raise!  I give God all the thanks and for all the strength given to me to get to this point.

Fifth, I have been asked so many times, what was it like.  So, let me explain what happened Saturday.

I was up at 6AM Saturday morning and had my 16 oz. of Gatoraide. After downing another 8 oz. of water and two pieces of white toast and jam, me wife drove me downtown Grand Rapids.  After arriving at around 7:10AM, with the race scheduled to start at 8:20AM, I spent the next hour standing in line three different locations at the Men's bathroom.  Yup, my system works good!

The announcer called everyone to their staging area of like time distance runners.  The reason they do this is so that faster runners can run at their pace and not be slowed by slower runners.  I gathered around the pace setter holding the sign 11 minutes a mile.  My practice since December 1, 2013 has been a pace of 12 minutes a mile.  I figured I would set a fast pace just to see how I would do and I could always slow up if it was too much.  I will let you know this decision was good or not.  To be continued......

At 8:20 the air gun was sounded!  It took the 5,565 runners 15 minutes to pass over the starting line.  There is a device on my bib number that, when I crossed the start line, it begins keeping tract of my time of the race until I cross the finish line.  After the race I could also find out pace, half-way time etc.

Wow, how amazing to see all the fans lining the starting gate as we all went on our way!  I was wearing my ARMY shirt and PT pants, i-phone for music and tracking, and a fanny pack with snacks.  At this point I had done all the things by the book suggested by the organizers for novices for this race starting back in December.  I have never attempted anything like this before and if there was anything like it, I would have to go back to my ARMY days of boot camp in 1973 to even be close to this.

After passing under the start bridge, I focused on the spectators and began looking for anyone I knew.  Right at the beginning, there were two or three families from NCF!  High fives were shared and off to running again.  Off on the right side of the road, One Mile was staring me in the face.  I am really doing this and there are 14 miles left!  People were laughing and joking and were all in good moods.  Two miles and the runners were thinning out and things were getting more serious.  The first water refreshment area was coming up and there is a right/wrong way to get your water/gatoraide/ice/GU along the way.  In short, keep moving, approach early on the side you intend to get your cup of beverage, make eye contact with the person handing you the drink, grab by pinching the cup, and say thank you!  Keep running with the cup in hand and when it is gone, it is ok to throw the cup on the side of the road.  One refreshment stand behind me.  Onward!

By the Third mile marker, I was thinking to myself that this was going good so far.  I noticed that there were people who were beginning to walk on the side.  They were either tired or had an injury.  May that not happen to me was my prayer.  The day was perfect for running and our path was leading us along the Grand River.  We were going to stay on this road until almost the halfway mark where we make the turn for home!  Being shady from all the trees along the river, it was a bit chilly.  55* was the temp at race time but it was going to get near 75* by the end of the race.  The organizers said that it was the best weather in the last 10 years of the race.

There was a reason why I took my i-phone with me.  One was to listen to Pandora music and the second was for people who could not come to the race could track me on my cell phone.  By previously setting up the APPS from the Apple Store, from their home they would watch me on a map within 33 feet of my location live.  There was a small glitch once a while as the program had me in the Grand River I was told.  Afterward, the program messed up again and placed me in the local hospital towards the end of the race.  Maybe I should have admitted myself!  Those tracking me had quite the scare.  Sorry about that guys!  After noticing the 5 mile marker, the next water station came up, which I made use of each one.  I wonder if those tracking me noticed a stop at the port-a-potty?

The six mile marker was next and now I was excited because my family was there to cheer me around the 7 mile marker.  I was always looking ahead and made that a goal of mine.  Coming up on the halfway mark meant I could check my time and see how my pace was holding up.  After hearing and seeing my family at Johnson Park in Grandville, my tempo picked up.  11 minute miles!  This was way better than expected.  My past was always 12 minutes per mile so things were going well until......THE HILLS!

All my training had been done on flat spaces outside and never on a treadmill and never on hills.  It took my breath away and my legs just could not take these small ups and downs.  I stopped to walk the first time at around the 8-9 mile markers.  From this point on my mind was beginning to play tricks on me.  My body would move from one side of the road to the other.  People would ask if I was alright.  (I am going to stop my story at this time as I need to do other work.  See you at Part TWO blog entry to be posted soon.  Until then.....)

Ken Van the not so running man.





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Guest Sunday, 18 February 2018

This Sunday

9:30 AM - Morning Service

11:15 AM - Sunday School

5:30 PM - Evening Service

Notable Events


Women Helping Women Conf. @ 1st Byron CRC


Anchored Spring Fundraiser Banquet


Paul Tripp Marriage Livestream Conference


2018 Anchored Mission Trip


2018 OPC Family Camp
@ Lincoln Lake Camp