Wednesday, September 30, 2009


If you'd like to comment below and share some of your "positive" list, feel free to go right ahead and do so!

Starting tomorrow morning you have 10 days left before the marathon. Today I want you to focus on all of the positives, make a list of everything that you can think of that has resulted in a positive outcome since you began this marathon quest. Some examples: new friends, confidence, weight loss, feel healthier, saved on gas, learned appropriate response to God's call, helped my friends raise $24,443 for clean drinking water, learned to slow down and enjoy the process, learned that running reduces stress, whatever you can think of, write it down. As you continue through these 10 days add to the list. Then be sure to pack the list with you to Chicago. During the last couple days when you get nervous or negative thoughts start creeping into your mind, or during the last few miles of the marathon when you are questioning your sanity, or the day after when you have to walk down stairs backward, take out your list and read it. Think of all the good things that have happened to you since you decided to become a marathoner. The positives will outweigh the negatives.

In a little over a week you will be able to say "yes, I have finished a marathon!" Maybe even when no one asked.

As you have already figured out by this point, this is not going to be easy. But I believe that you also know that some of the most important accomplishments in life are not "easy". It is ok to be proud of yourself for what you have accomplished. One of my hopes is that some percentage of you will continue to make running a part of your lives after the marathon is just a memory.

I have received a few email that some of you did not receive the "marathon weekend details packet". If you want an electronic copy, email and I will forward it to you, also I will print off some hard copies for next Saturday if you did not get one.

Enjoy this beautiful day,
Coach Don.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Race Weekend Packet

Go to Looking at the arrow bullet points, you'll see "Race Weekend Details". Click on that and if you can, print it. This packet has a lot of great information, and has a whole section on tips for spectators.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

top three fundraising teams for World Vision

As of today, here are the top fundraising teams for Team World Vision:

1. Willow Creek Barrington Campus $42,509
2. 50 Miler $37,298
3. Iowans for Africa $23,588

Good job, Iowans for Africa! Let's keep going strong in helping our African neighbors these final few weeks!

If you ordered t-shirts through Kallie!

Hey Iowans for Africa!
Here is the list of names and what you owe for the shirts (see list below)!! Each shirt was $7.40, XXL $8.40, and then tax was added. I need to pay when I pick these up, hopefully on Friday!
Paying- Make checks out to Kallie Thompson.
1) You can send me the money to my house
Kallie Thompson
2123 Primrose Dr.
Cedar Falls, IA 50613

Or 2) Take the money to the church. Please put your money in an envelope with your NAME on it! There will be a manila envelope in Kris Hoskinson's mailbox. If you go in the office and say you need to put it in her mailbox the secretaries will most likely do it for you.

I would really appreciate getting this money ASAP! I need to pay for them when I pick them up, and as a college student, I don't have a lot of extra money on hand to just pay for all of them. If you could get it there by Thursday it would be much appreciated!


Hopefully, I will have the shirts in hand on Friday afternoon. I am planning on having them all divided up into bags for everyone to pick-up at church that Sunday morning/afternoon Oct. 4th. More information will come on this depending on when I get them. In order to get your shirt you must pay me first!

We had almost 150 shirts ordered, so it will be awesome to see our supports in orange! Two weeks left!

Kallie Thompson

Allison Mogren 1-s $7.92
Jessie Marx 1-s $7.92
Kelsey Ihde 1-s $7.92
Missy Luloff 1-s $7.92
Syd, Lisa, Ashley, Chelsea 3-s, 1-m $31.67
Don, Terri Williams 1-L, 1-xl $15.84
Sid Harris 1-m, 2-L, 2-xl $39.59
Amy Lynch 1-m $7.92
Susan Backes 4-yL, 2-s $47.51
Chris Wheeler-McManus- 1-L, 1-xL $15.84
Laurie Williams 2-ym, 1-m $23.75
Chelsea Courtnage 2-m, 1-L, 2-xl, 1-xxl $48.58
Jay Bullerman 1-m $7.92
Natalie Kracht 1-m $7.92
Annie Vander Werff 1-ys, 1-ym, 3-m, 4-L $71.26
Scott Doyle 1-yL, 1-s, 2-L $31.67
Melissa Landsgard 1-s, 1-xL $15.84
Luke Patterson 1-m $7.92
Eric, Char Williams 1-ym, 1-yL 1-m, 2-xL $39.59
Rita Gerdes 1-s, 2-m 1-xxl $32.74
Michelle Hammer 1-s, 1-m $15.84
Lynn Patterson 2-s, 2-xL $31.67
Danielle Schmitt 1-L $7.92
Melissa Haberstich 2-L $15.84
Toni Rundall 1-L, 1-xl $15.84
Brian Cross 1-m $7.92
Lauren Noeltin 2-m, 1-xl $23.75
Bobbie Humble 2-s, 1-m, 1-L $31.67
Chad Hertz 1-ys, 2-ym, 2-s, 1-m $47.51
Jodi Olsen 1-L, 1-xl $15.84
Laura Hoy 2-s, 1-m, 1-xl $31.67
Emily Schut 1-ys, 1-ym 1-m, 1-xxl $32.74
Danielle Garvin 1-ys, 1-m, 1-L, 1-xl, 1-xxl $40.66
David McMurrin 1-m $7.92
Jenna, Bonita Davis 8-m 3-L, 1-xl $95.02
Natalie Brown 1-s, 1-xl $15.84
Joy Culberson 2-ys, 1-ym, 1-s, 1-L $39.59
Wendy Blinn 1-xl $7.92
Angela Schreiber 2-ys, 1-s, 1-xxl $32.74
Summer Anderson 1-s, 3-L $31.67
Steve Timm 1-ym, 1-yL, 1-s, 1-xl $31.67
Amy Price 1-s, 1-xl $15.84
Brian Buhrow 1-m, 1xl $15.84
Ashley Hermansen 1-s, 1-m, 1-L $23.75
Jess Hansen 1-ys, 2-s, 1-m, 1-L $39.59
Tricia Haak 2-s, 1-L $23.75
Tresa Habinck 1-s, 2-M $23.75

Marathoning for Mortals

Laurie Williams loaned me a book entitled Marathoning for Mortals by John "The Penguin" Bingham. She directed me toward the end of the book since we're so far into our training and we're preparing for the big day. Maybe I'll offer a few quotes from his book in the next few weeks. Here's one Laurie pointed out to me that I'm paying close attention to....

"It's always important to get the race site early. It's especially important at a big race. And this next sentence is the most important sentence in the entire book: When you get to the race site, immediately get into the portable-toilet line. I'm not kidding. Do not stop to talk. Do not look around for friends. Make a direct line for the portable toilets. I don't care how often you go to the bathroom before you leave the hotel; you are going to need to go again before the race starts. Don't take any chances. Get in line.

When you've gotten to the front of the line, then gotten in and out of the portable toilet, get back in line again. Trust me on this one. Stay in the portable toilet line until you have to line up for the race."

See you in line at the biffy! :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

hotel marathon weekend

One of our male teammates is a single booked in a double room for race weekend. He wanted to know if any guy out there is still looking for a hotel room. You can contact Joe Smith at if you're interested.

this would be cool to watch

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

This week's Scripture/Commentary

This Scripture/commentary is the last in the packet that Don gave me. These have been helpful along our path!

Biblical training: Finish the race.

2 Timothy 4:7-8 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day- and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Commentary: Perhaps life might be looked at as a "stage race" (think Tour de France without bikes). We do not know which day our race will be over. There is little, if any, distinction between racing and training. Do not forget about rest days (Sabbath). Each day presents new challenges, new choices. Choose wisely. Keep the faith.

t-shirt order request by Kallie

Hey everyone! Just a reminder to let me know if you want a shirt for the marathon! Please just email me ( your name, the sizes, and number that you would like, BY THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 24th. We are definetly going to do youth sizes because lots of people wrote down that they would like them. Also, I know XXL wasn't on the sheet but we are doing that, too. Just kind of forgot to write it down!

If you have already signed up, PLEASE STILL EMAIL ME what you would like. Many people wrote down 2 Youth, but I don't know what Youth size you would want. The sheet is kind of crazy and I want to make sure everyone gets one who wants one. I want to try to get a really close number so I can get the prices back to you ASAP. Hopefully by the weekend. He said it would only take a couple days to print, so that is not a problem.

Thank you so much!
Have a great week,

Monday, September 21, 2009

What is your morning routine?

Just for fun....What is your routine as you face the morning of a long run?

orange, orange, orange!

This isn't everyone, but it's about half of the Iowans for Africa marathon team. (Taken September 20, 2009)

pages for Don's scrapbook

If by chance you didn't get a chance to write/make a page for Don's scrapbook, it's never too late. Just do something on an 8 x 11 piece of paper and give it straight to Don to add to his book.

I think Don will have the book in his office if you ever want to stop by and look through it. It was really neat to see all of the pages and read how God has moved in so many lives through this entire experience.


Be sure to create your digital footprint at

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hampton teammates

A few more out-of-town teammates joined us last night for dinner. Jon and Chris Anderson, along with two of their children, Noah and Rebekah, drove from Hampton for some team time at the pasta meal. Jon pastors Church of the Living Word in Hampton. They are closing a deal with the school district in the next weeks and will most likely soon make their church's home at the old Hampton-Dumont Middle School. There was an article in the Courier a week ago about this (link below). Since the article, the school board voted to accept the church's bid.

Laura Hoy grew up with Chris in Waterloo, and the families have been friends a good many years.

Amy from Keokuk

There's always more after I speak in front of a group that I wish I had said. One of those omissions from last night's party was to introduce the travelers on our team. Amy Cheng from Keokuk, Iowa, joined Team World Vision and then looked for the closest training group, which happens to be us! She drove up for the dinner last night and then stayed with Laurie and Kent Williams.

Here's what's amazing about Amy. Laurie offered Amy some breakfast this morning, but Amy mentioned that she doesn't eat before she runs. What was also discovered before the 20 mile run this morning was that Amy's only been training on 5 mile runs. She doesn't carry gu or beans, and she doesn't like gatorade. When I learned these details this morning, I was like, "No way. Death will have Amy Cheng by the half-marathon mark."

Amy completed the 20! Amazing! And she was walking around fresh and flexible by the time I was stumbling in the door.

You go, Amy! Thanks for driving to CF last night, and we'll see you in Chicago, girlfriend!

Top Ten

"You know you're a teammate on the Iowans for Africa team if...."

10. you now use a new standard of measurement. It's called....."the Pfeifer loop."

9. your friend or spouse asks you if you're wearing a new cologne/perfume and you respond,"No, that's Bio-freeze."

8. you now know that the I. T. band is not the Cedar Valley's latest rock band but a part of your body.

7. you see bright orange around town and you immediately want to hit the pavement running.

6. the words "ice bath" are now regular vocabulary around your house and no longer cause shocked facial expressions from your family.

5. you use phrases like, "I'm just running 10 miles today."

4. you used to thing "gu" was something you found in your kids' pockets when you did laundry, but now you eat "gu" like' it's your saving grace. You've also discovered that jelly beans are no longer just for Eastertime.

3. you don't have to use toenail polish anymore because your toenails have taken on a new color all on their own...or maybe even fallen off.

2. you've become comfortable enough with running partners to talk openly about bodily functions..maybe even well enough to share some of those bodily functions with your teammates.

1. your heart is swelling in love for God, Coach Don, your teammates, and your brothers and sisters in Africa because of this experience.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Friday 20 milers

There is a group planning on running the 20 miles on Friday instead of Saturday. If you're interested in joining that group for the Friday a.m. time, feel free to contact Kris Hoskinson at or Karla Chestnut at

Be sure to leave a footprint!

I created my footprint a few weeks ago. It only takes a few minutes and if Team World Vision gets the most footprints, then World Vision will get an additional $50,000 to help children in need! Send this off to your support circle. It literally only takes a few minutes!

We're exactly 26 days away from the Chicago Marathon. That sounds like a perfect day to send out your fundraising webpage and update your friends on how your training is going. :) Also, in case you haven't heard, Team World Vision is currently leading the marathon's footprint campaign! Woo hoo! So if you haven't created your footprint yet, make one today: You guys are awesome. Thanks for being on the team.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

This week's Scripture/Commentary

Biblical Training: The race is not to the swift.

Ecclesiastes 9:11 I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.

Proverbs 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.

Commentary: We do not control our lot in life, or sometimes in a race. Within time and chance we are given choices. In the end, it's our response to God that matters.

lessons from ultramarathon man

I had some open hours yesterday to finish Ultra Marathon Man: Confessions of an All-night Runner by Dean Karnazes. The book is a fast, engaging read, and Dean's persistence in the most extreme running ventures ever, is inspiring as I face 26.2 miles in 4 weeks. Your jaw will drop through most of his running tales...the first marathoner to the South Pole, a solo relay team himself doing 199 miles in California in 46 hours, 10 silver buckles for completing 10 grueling Western States 100 mile races through mountains, a 135 mile race in 27 hours through 120 degree Death Valley. The man is a machine, and he has several good quotes that I found motivating. Here are a few:

"Still, most people can't imagine the levels of pain one endures running long can the human body withstand it? ...There's really no mystery to what I do, however. It hurts me just as bad as anyone else. I've just learned an essential insight: your legs can only carry you so far. Running great distances is mostly done with your head...and, as Benner taught me 25 years ago, with your heart. The human body is capable of amazing physical deeds. If we could just free ourselves from our perceived limitations and tap into our internal fire, the possibilities are endless. "

This quote as he nears his 199 mile finish...running the last mile in under 6 minutes. "Running into Santa Cruz, I was wholly fulfilled. Most people never get there. They're afraid or unwilling to demand enough of themselves and take the easy road, the path of least resistance. But struggling and suffering, as I now saw it, were the essence of a life worth living. If you're not pushing yourself beyond the comfort zone, if you're not constantly demanding more from yourself- expanding and learning as you go- you're choosing a numb existence. You're denying yourselves an extraordinary trip."

"Often, people can't understand how running can have such power. They say it's little more than a slightly ambitious version of walking. True, running is a simple, primitive act. Yet in its subtleties lies tremendous power. For in running, the muscles work a little harder, the blood flows a little faster, the heart beats a little stronger. Life becomes a little more vibrant, a little more intense. I like that."

Friday, September 11, 2009

100 people in the world

If Earth were populated with only 100 people, then based on today's demographic, this is what the global village would look like:

- There would be 60 Asians, 14 Africans, 12 Europeans, 8 Latin Americans, 5 from the USA and Canada, and 1 from the South Pacific.
- 51 would be males, 49 would be females
- 82 would be non-white; 18 white
- 67 would be people of other religions or no religion; 33 would be Christian
- 80 would live in sub-standard housing.
- 67 would be unable to read
- 50 would be malnourished and 1 dying of starvation
- 33 would be without access to a safe water supply
- 39 would lack access to improved sanitation
- 24 would not have any electricity, and of the 76 that do have electricity, most would only use it for light at night.
- 7 would have a college education
- 1 would have HIV
- 2 would be near birth; 1 near death
- 33 would be receiving and attempting to live on only 3 percent of the income of "the village".
- 5 would control 32 percent of the entire village's wealth; all 5 would be U.S. citizens.

"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written, 'He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.' " 2 Corinthians 9:6-9

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sept. 18 meal

We're looking forward to gathering together with families included on Friday evening, September 18, for a meal together with the Iowans for Africa team!

Friday, Sept. 18 6 p.m. OHC coffeehouse area near gym

Please RSVP by Tuesday, September 15 by commenting on this blog or sending an email to with the following information:
1. Your name and how many in your family will be coming for dinner.
2. Which of the following you'll bring: a main dish, a salad, or a dessert.
(tableservice and beverage will be provided)


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

6 a.m. tomorrow...2 locations.

Jess Hansen and Kris Hoskinson invite anyone to join them at Pfeifer. They're running anywhere from 6-7 miles tomorrow a.m.

6 a.m. Chestnut's. This group is planning on doing 8 miles from the Nut House. :)

Left foot, right foot, everybody, and hearts to God!

Monday, September 7, 2009

18 miles down, 8.2 to go!

Wow, I'm so proud of this team! 18 miles! Good work, runners! I wouldn't have ever done this without you all.

T-5 weeks!

(any good quick healing blister advice out there?)

This week's Scripture/Commentary

Biblical Training: Don't drop out.

Hebrews 12:7-13 God is educating you; that's why you must never drop out. He's treating you as dear children. This trouble you're in isn't punishment; it's training, the normal experience of children. We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God's training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemeed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God's holy best. At the time, discipline isn't much fun. It always feels like it's going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it's the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God. So, don't sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!

Friday, September 4, 2009

18 miles tomorrow

I'm going to have an 18 mile route at opening tomorrow if anyone wants to pick one up and go for it. It's basically one loop of Pfeifer (6.25 miles w/ 2 beverage stations) and then a run on the trail to church (4 miles w/ water at Paw Park and then OHC). Then, it'll be 3 miles of residential streets to the west of OHC (that lead back to OHC for drink), then 3 miles on residential streets to east of OHC (leading back to OHC for beverage), and then 2 miles from OHC to McClain Dr. to Waterloo Rd. which brings you back to Pfeifer.

I'll type it out/maybe draw it out, and I'll also try to put some Gatorade bottles and cups in a cooler at OHC beside the water fountain in the hallway on the west end near the bathrooms and the construction.

Get some rest and carbs today!

dare to care

I woke up abruptly this morning from a dream in which I was facing God and He was asking me, "You knew of all of the suffering...why didn't you do more in my love?"

I'm quite certain this dream comes from a summer of pondering a statement that was in Stearn's book, A Hole in our Gospel. He writes about how we in this present age, because of technology, money, and transportation, have the awareness of suffering, the ability to alleviate much suffering, and the access to get to places where there is need. He poses the question, "Why then don't we?" That's a question I've been living in since I read the book....identifying the obstacles that keep me from more fully seeking God's heart and God's justice.

That kind of question prompts me to pray "God, help me to care, help me to die to the obstacles, and help me to order my days as if justice and reconciliation really matter."

I'm grateful for this marathon as an expression of care and compassion for those who suffer. I'm grateful for a team that encourages me to live out my days in God's love.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

6 a.m. Wednesday run

Tomorrow, Chestnut's, 6 a.m., 9 miles. Chestnut's home is at 114 E. 14th St. (1 blk south of rec center).

Also, I'm working up another route for 18 miles that starts off with one 6.25 loop at Pfeifer but then takes you to the streets and brings you back to Pfeifer. I'll post it if anyone is interested in a little street time Saturday.

sometimes training is hard.