Sunday, October 18, 2009

marathoners all are we

74 Iowans for Africa went across the start line last Sunday, and 74 came across the finish for the medal. Woo-hoo! (not all are pictured here)

Monday's Courier

Look for the Courier article in Monday's paper instead of today's. I'll put a link to it here when it comes out.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Any last words?

Well, we just had our last official Iowans for Africa gathering. Several showed up for a 5K run together and some good bagel time afterwards in order to be together and to share our Chicago Marathon experiences.

Don's up front tomorrow talking at church. The team has been asked to wear your blue Chicago Marathon shirt that you picked up at the Expo and your medal. Meet in the Atrium at 10:15 a.m. for one last team "after" picture.

There will be a story in the Courier for that.

We'll likely hit $40,000 fundraising before we're done. Wow. That is so crazy good.

Jess Hansen is organizing group runs at 6 a.m. from the NE coffeeshop doors at OHC each Thursday. Runs likely to average 3 miles or so.

Jodi Olsen is going to get an Iowans for Africa facebook group going so that we can share runs that are coming up or just have a "running" conversation together about running.

I'm going to lay this blog to rest now. It's been a real good run, y'all. I've never experienced anything quite like's all been a God-given all have been a God-given gift. Couldn't have done it without you...and even if I could have, it wouldn't have been nearly as wonderful or fun. As Don so perfectly said this morning, "Thanks for enriching my life." My life is indeed richer.

Any last words? You can comment here. Otherwise, keep running with joy the race set out for you in Christ! And let's keep at it together!

Laura Hoy

pics from KT

Kathrine Krukow and Emily Schut
KT on the run
Kathrine and Paul- post race
Wheelchairs in the marathon

Friday, October 16, 2009

marathon memories

Bonita & Jenna Davis, mother and daughter, trained and ran the marathon together. Bonita shares her experience:

This whole experience has truly been life-changing! From the beginning of training six long months ago until now, God has been felt!! These are some of my memories of training:

running around the section on our country roads for our first 4 miler & thinking how difficult it was, Jenna & I running around Dike Lake & dodging all of the goose poop there (Jenna was going nuts:), Jenna & I running from the Mill to Dike for our first 14 miler while we were getting pelted with rain, hail & lightning, running the Pfeiffer/George Wyth loop many, many times, running on vacation at Table Rock with STEEP, STEEP hills, surviving & adjusting to the humidity for a couple of weeks this summer, keeping our training logs/journal, getting my first heart rate monitor watch & tracking miles & calories burned, getting our running shoes, running our first 10 miler & experiencing God in a way I had never before, feeling what it was like to be in the "zone" while running, taking many, many, ice baths after our long runs, making new friends on our team, having the experience that Coach Don brought to our team, the encouragement from the team, reading motivational books, feeling a bond with Jenna that will last forever, straining my right quadricep muscle 6 weeks before the marathon & being devastated that I may not be able to run the marathon, clinging to certain scripture verses & worship songs during recovery from the quad strain, physical therapy for 3 weeks &
3 days!, the incredible support from family & friends especially my dear husband, Shan, the smells, sounds & views as we ran through 3 seasons-spring, summer & fall, the prayers of so many, my first run back after my quad strain-how emotional that was, the many, many bottles of Gatorade/gel we drank/ate, how complete I feel while running, how I feel God's presence when I run, listening to worship music on my Ipod while running, running with my faithful companion (dog) Sophie Grace & being so nervous & anxious the week prior to the marathon & asking a few people to pray for peace & God granted that to my soul.

The day of the marathon was unbelievable!!! All 26.2 miles there were people lining the streets clapping, cheering, smiling & encouraging us!!!!!! It truly was awe-inspiring!! It made me feel a oneness with the world & how much good there is in the world! I remember closing my eyes & saying a prayer for our team as the national anthem was sang before the race, I remember all of the clothes being flung to the side as the runners stripped down to another layer, I remember the EXCITEMENT in my heart when the gun went off, I remember feeling a oneness with all the runners as we all had a story to tell to get us to that point, I remember reading all of the shirts & charity causes people were running for as we ran, I remember looking at the stream of 34,000 runners in front of & behind us & simply being in awe of that, I remember Jenna & I saying to one another at mile 13 that now we could feel that we had been running, I remember feeling so strong & NEVER doubting that we could do it, I remember feeling God's INCREDIBLY STRONG PRESENCE with us both during & after the race, I remember just beaming anytime we would see faces we recognized & loved in the crowd as we ran, I remember holding Jenna's hand as we turned the corner & saw the finish line, I remember lifting our arms together at the end & hugging one another with tears streaming down on our faces. WE HAD DONE IT THROUGH HIM WHO HAD STRENGTHENED US!!!!!!! YIPEE!!!!!!!!!!!!

These are the memories that I will never forget!! I haven't been sore in these days after the marathon, I have been able to go up & down stairs easily & even felt so good that I went for a short run on Monday. This I know is all beacuse of our great God! I told Shan it was dangerous that I feel so good because I'm ready to do another one:) But I know it will never top this one because it is so clear that God called this to be & He was & is at the center of EVERYTHING!!! So.... thank you for being a part of this journey! May God bless each & everyone of you! Go & spread His light today!

Blessings & Love, Bonita

More World Vision pics

#1 Chicago skyline is beautiful
#2 and #3 Tim Hoekstra, from Illinois, is 50 years old, is raising $50,000 for Team World Vision, and ran 23.8 miles into the marathon and then ran the 26.2 miles for a 50 mile day. You can donate to Tim at firstgiving if you feel moved. He's at $47,844. His page is at
#4 Jay Bullerman
#5 Brian Cross

Some facebook pics from World Vision

World Vision posted several pictures they shot at the race of Team World Vision participants. I found some of our teammates and am posting the pics here.
#1 Ashley Hermansen and Emily Schut were both injured in training and thought they were out for the marathon. Emily got word from her doctor only days before the marathon that she could walk, so Don connected Ashley and Emily, and they walked the marathon together!
#2 Enrique Ochoa
#3 Char and Eric Williams
#4 Steve Timm
#5 Scott Doyle

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Saturday morning gathering

Reminder that the marathoners are invited to meet this Saturday: The Orchard Hill Atrium at 7:15 a.m. for a 5K easy run or 8:00 a.m. in the coffeehouse for bagels, fruit, coffee/juice and a chance to share our Chicago experiences.

I just checked first giving: $38,870. Iowans for Africa, you really are FOR Africa! Thanks for giving life and hope to so many in the name and love of Jesus.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Congrats Michael and Rachel!

Michael Lawson writes:

Rachel Cole and I ran the marathon together. During the early stages of our relationship, we decided to register for Chicago(prior to the group being organized.) While she helped bring faith back in to my life, we heard about Don Williams and starting a marathon training group. This is where my journey with God merged with my journey to Chicago.
Throughout the course of training for the marathon we grew closer and closer. I knew I wanted to spend my life with Rachel. I loved her with all my heart. I also knew that if I was going to ask her to marry me, I wanted to make it special. Then it hit me...The finish line. How awesome would that be to start(and finish!) the marathon together and then ask this incredible woman to share our lives together.
I picked out the ring, told my plans to the lady at the jewelry store and struggled to figure out the logistics behind this. I ended up using a jewelry bag(the box was definitely NOT fitting in my running shorts!) and placing it in my zip up pocket. Yes, I was going to carry the ring the entire marathon! Mind you, I double and triple checked the pocket for hole's and to ensure it was zipped numerous times before the marathon and continued to check on the ring about every half mile or mile. The great thing about running 26.2 miles is that you have plenty of time to figure out exactly what you are going to say. I poured over my words and had it all planned out. Then it happened; we finished. My heart began to race as we maneuvered through the finish line area to our rendezvous point with her parents and brother and sister in law. As we shared hugs with one another and took a couple post race photos, I realized it was the time. I removed the ring from my back pocket, cautiously dropped down to one knee, only to have Rachel remind me that I need to stand up, I was going to get sore because we just ran a marathon!
It was at this point that my entire speech I had planned out disappeared from my head. I knew there was thousands of people around us because I could hear some cheering and applause, but I was only focused on Rachel and I. After finally saying those magic words, "Will you marry me?" she said Yes. Well, not at first, she was in such shock that I had to ask her a second time because she couldn't even speak, but she did say Yes!
We embraced, and even more cheers came from the onlookers and her family.
To cap it all off, there two women that were sitting on a curb that had congratulated us. Rachel ran in to them at the hotel as we were waiting for our car from the valet. They recounted the story and how they were teary eyed and talked about it the whole way back to the hotel. What a great weekend! I had to chase her for 26.2 miles, but I caught her :)
I think the most inspirational part of the race was around mile 16.5 when I was really struggling with my foot. Her dad ran along side of me for a few hundred feet and kept telling me, "Remember what you are running for!" As I had told him the details of how I was going to propose. Definitely kept me going!

Signs and Tshirts

Any memorable signs or t-shirts from the weekend? I liked the back of this t-shirt on sale at the Expo:

Dear God,

Please let there be someone behind me to read this t-shirt.

God bless that last person who crossed the finish line on Sunday!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


This group of six ran and finished the marathon together:

Danielle Garvin, Kallie Thompson, Angie Schreiber, Tricia Haak, Jess Hansen, and Kris Hoskinson 4:59 Way to go!

you're six times more likely to get sick this week

I've just been reading very good articles and watching short videos at Good stuff. Marathoners tell stories. A cool video of the marathon in 2 minutes. An article that tells us our immune systems are shot, and that we're six times more likely to get sick this week because of it. Recommendations? Sleep well. Eat fruits and veggies. Wash your hands a lot. And one recommendation says to rest one day for every mile we ran. Think any of our bosses will buy it if we tell them we need the next month off? :)

How to brag about running the Chicago Marathon

This article is on the Chicago Tribune link to the Chicago Marathon articles. Written by Julie Deardorff, I believe. It's very funny.

Follow the Runner's Rules
Sorry: Nonrunners don't care that much about your running (Rule 1.48)
If you ran Sunday's Bank of America Chicago Marathon, you'll no doubt want to mention this major, perhaps once-in-a lifetime accomplishment to your non-running friends and coworkers. But for everyone's sake, Runner's executive editor Mark Remy writes in "The Runner's Rule Book," don't get carried away.
It's fine, for example, to casually drop the marathon into a conversation to explain why you're walking down the stairs backward. It's not okay, however, to recite the splits along with your heart rate, "the relative humidity, what you wore (and why) and exactly what happened just shy of the porta potty at mile 17," Remy writes.
Yes, we runners are an often oblivious breed. And whether you're one of them, you want to become one, or you know one, you'll find something you can relate to in the rule book, a treasure trove of running tips, wisdom and cultural observations.
The book includes rules that require further explanation, such as "Do whatever it takes to finish in front of a costumed runner. (Rule 2.32.) Why? "Because being outkicked by Elmo is too much to bear." It also lists dozens of right-on rules of thumb, which are self-explanatory. ("The more expensive the car, the less likely it is to move over for you.")
The "rules" aren't just funny; they're wise, useful ("Cotton socks are the devil,") and they'll help both newbies and seasoned veterans put the sport into perspective. Running, after all, is fun (Rule 1.1). And if you doubt the fundamental joy of movement, Remy wrote, spend a few minutes watching a child in any open space.
"Their glee is instinctual and undeniable," Remy wrote. " I believe it was Aristotle who one said, "Tramps like us, baby, we were born to run." In any case, remember this primary rule and you're halfway there."
A few more Runner's Rules:
For Pete's Sake, Stand Still At Red Lights (Rule 1.46). "Sharks die when they stop moving. Runners do not...There's no need to shuffle or bounce or jog in place or dance from foot to foot like you have to pee. Instead, just chill. Wait a few moments. Then resume running.
A PR is Forever, But...(Rule 1.51). "You may advertise a personal record (PR) time...for two years after setting it. After 2 years, however, it becomes uncool to tell people "My marathon PR is 3:12" without providing a disclaimer--e.g., "My marathon PR is 3:12 but I ran that 63 years ago."
Learn and Love the Farmer's Blow (Rule 1.18). A good Farmer's Blow is wonder to behold, satisfying, efficient and brilliant in its simplicity. A bad Farmer's blow will leave you with a real mess on your hands. Literally.
Remy and the editors of Runner's World also compiled 70 "rules of thumb." Here are ten of my favorites.
1. Women who race in full face makeup are never fast.
2. Women who race in full makeup don't care that they're not fast.
3. One glazed doughnut equals 2 miles.
4. For an estimated marathon finish time, double your half marathon time and add 10 minutes.
5. You almost never regret the runs you do; you almost always regret the runs you skip.
6. Sick? If symptoms are above the neck, you can still run.
7. Buying a piece of running gear just because it's on sale is always a bad idea.
8. If you "need" music in order to run, you're kind of missing the point.
9.To help keep your upper body relaxed during a run, imagine you're carrying a potato chip in each hand.
10. A sock makes better TP than a leaf does.

What were your highlights?

Give us a few highlights from your weekend! Click on comments below and share!

Thursday run!

From Jess Hansen:

I know some of you may be thinking... or not thinking about running! From what I hear the best thing to do for those stiff and sore muscles is to get back out on the pavement and get right back at it! We are going to gather at 6am THIS Thursday at Orchard Hill Church. (back side/Elmridge St side) and run a short 2 -3 miles. We will share a few minutes before we start, pray, and get running! I hope to see some of you marathoners bright and early! :) Bring a friend or a spouse or your dog!
I hope you are getting your rest and eating well this week. It was amazing to do the marathon with you all... I can honestly say probably one of my top 10 life experiences. The whole thing... the training, relationships developed, God's lessons during it, and even the final mile. It was good, God is good. Hope to see you in your running shoes soon!

send photos

#1 Jodi Olsen sports a pose as she runs with Danielle Schmitt
#2 Jodi and Danielle sport World Vision tattoos
#3 A man runs in a banana costume. There was also the pope and a nun running, Thing 1 and Thing 2, and the Loch Ness Monster!
#4 The medal
#5 Luke Patterson hams it up for the camera
#6 Laurie Williams, Jon and Chris Anderson, Laura Hoy
Send me photos to and I'll post a few!

marathon video online

You can watch the coverage of the marathon at:

Thanks for the link, Laurie Williams!

1st place, 2nd place....29,958th place

After the marathon, my friend's 7 year old daughter, Nora, asked me, "What place did you get in the race?" I didn't know at the time, but now I can tell her I got 29,958th place. :)

Want to know what place you got? You can go to and see all participants' times and rank in alphabetical lists by last name.


Dave, Jess, Jaxon Hansen

The "1 mile to go" sign
Owen Siebring

Mark and Kris Hoskinson

Monday, October 12, 2009

more pics

1- Jodi Olsen and Danielle Schmitt
2- Brian Cross on the run
3- Danielle Schmitt finds her name on a huge Chicago 2009 wall of marathoners.
4- Victor and Enrique Ochoa

official marathon photos

Be sure to get on to see their post-race stuff. You can view the photos taken of you at and even order a dvd of marathon highlights that will include all the pics taken of you throughout the race.

pics from Toni Rundall

Toni Rundall and Melissa Landsgard both qualified for the Boston Marathon!

Toni and her dad, Mark Allen.

footprints of the Kingdom

Some things have the Kingdom of Heaven written all over it and just need to be named as such. The Chicago Marathon was just such a thing. It was definitely like the kind of party Jesus would have thrown.

Who was at the party? Every color, age, ability, size and shape. Some running. Some cheering. It was the same party whether you were a runner or a spectator. There was this enormous sense of oneness at this event. On the course, there were the some of the fastest people on two legs on the face of the planet and there were people in wheelchairs. There were many who were running for a cause or in memory of someone. There were the injured who often had friends walking with them toward the finish line. The street was oozing with perseverance, determination, comradery.

On the sidewalks, there were a million plus people cheering. Smiles, signs, costumes, excitement, encouragement that never ended. People didn't pack up after the fastest runners were through. They stayed and cheered on and on. Fans called out people's names. They yelled. They clapped. "This is YOUR day!" "You're amazing!" "Be strong to the finish!" Many fans cheered in one section and then moved to other mile markers throughout the course, so we'd see some encouraging faces again and again. Thousands of volunteers handed out Gatorade and water with smiles and cheers. Some people offered pretzels, candy, cookies to runners. There was joy and encouragement abounding.

Throughout this world there's a desire in people to believe that there's still good. That people still care for one another and are kind. A place to go where you feel safe to be known because you believe people will encourage and love you despite your struggles. That was the environment of this marathon. The marathon's affirming messages were "You are loved. You are capable. You have worth. We are all together doing this."

After rounding a corner early on in the first few miles and getting jazzed by seeing Maribeth and Darwin Boelts, my first familiar faces, I determined two things right then. 1. I would smile throughout the entire race and 2. I was going to make eye contact with as much of the crowd and volunteers as I could.

Those two things were like an infusion of energy for me the entire way. Even in the last 6.2 miles when the legs really began to feel the run, the crowd kept my mind and spirit strong and fresh and energized.

I love how God's Kingdom footprints were all over this marathon. Encouragement, a deep sense of acceptance and community, victory and overcoming limits, sharing and caring, joy even in the pain...these are all marks of the Kingdom that Jesus ushered in and invites us to live in everyday.

I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good! Psalm 34:8

"The Bean" sits in Millenium Park, not far from the hotel I stayed at.

Besides being my last name, "HOY" means today in Spanish. This sign was at the Expo in front of a Spanish newspaper publication. :)

World Vision

Iowans for Africa stands at $37,614.54 as of this afternoon. GREAT job! I know that WV marathon teams have raised over $600,000 so far to meet needs in Africa. That money will be a blessing for our world; both for the givers and receivers.

a few photos from Chris Wheeler-McManus

#1 Bonita and Jenna Davis
#2 Amy Lynch, Matt McManus, Angie Schreiber
#3 Joe Smith
#4 Dave Canfield and Joe Smith

pics to the Courier

Michelle Gebhardt from the Courier is looking for 10-15 photos from the marathon. Please email some to her at today or tomorrow. Thanks!

a few pre-event pics

#1 Natalie and sister, Malloree at dinner night before
#2 Danielle Garvin and Tricia Haak in hotel lobby
#3 Kris Hoskinson and Jess Hansen in hotel lobby
#4 Don and Terri at the Expo picking up the race packet