Wednesday, September 29, 2010

full circle

Just a reminder that our team will meet at 7am the next two Saturday mornings at Orchard Hill Church for our final 2 team runs before October 17th! What a great place to finish up our final runs together. This is where we found out that yes, we CAN run 3 miles! Yes, we CAN run at all! Yes, we can run 3 then 4 then 5 then 6 and so on miles at a time!! You have done this team! You will head down the street feeling so much success as you've almost completed the training for a marathon. You are coming full circle... come hit the pavement with us and celebrate! We are almost there and together we are accomplishing great things! Gos is faithful and His strength beams out of so many of you!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

what a day!

I arrived at Pfiefer park just a little early today because I wanted to feel the anticipation of all those coming to run their 20 mile run today. It was dark out yet and some had come early to get a few miles in before the rain started. Some were just rolling out of bed and tying their shoes. Some were just jumping around ready to get going. It was so great to be amongst the excitement, nerves, and thrill of a group of people ready to conquer a goal. Good job team!

Many of you have finished your longest run now that you will do before the 26.2. It seems each time the miles bumped up, people were ready to do it...whether they knew it or not. So many have faithfully been led through this training journey and no doubt the leading from God and Coach Don will continue right through the 26.2. Some of you will feel nervous for that unknown territory the day of the race. The last 6.2 miles that you haven't experienced yet. Remember that God doesn't ever send you where He hasn't already been. Where He isn't already at. When you've reached the 20 mile mark on race day, just know that it can be completed just like today's big run. You will do this.

Last year as I entered mile 23 or 24 I started to see Jesus in a whole new way. Up to that point I had not experienced physical exhaustion or pain quite like I had at that point. (I am not writing that to scare you!) I knew I could do it, but I knew God was going to run with me to get me there. Those last few miles I visualized Jesus, God's only son, nailed to a cross. As my lungs heaved for air and my legs moved simply by habit, I was overwhelmed with what Jesus went through physically to let me live. If Jesus could suffer pain far worse then mine, I could suffer a little pain for children and moms and dads to have clean water in Africa. I did not know that 6.2 mile place very well, but what I found there was a strength I didn't know I had, a purpose much greater then myself, and a Savior I didn't deserve. Jesus was there in those last few miles... I just had to run the first 20 to get there and see Him in that way. I hope you run to meet Jesus in those last hard 6.2 miles. I hope you run with the strength that has been building in you for the last 7 months. I hope you run knowing Jesus died for you, so you can live. Even living to choose to run 26.2 miles!!

It brings me to tears to see all the people on those trails running, becoming friends, growing in many ways, and choosing to do this. You are an amazing group of people! Congrats on your 20 mile run today, gang! This has been an amazing journey and the finish line is not far away. You will do great things on race day!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A team mate has contacted me that she will be unable to participate in the marathon because of pregnancy (YEA GOD) and is wishing to give her registration to someone who may have been thinking about running but could not justify the cost right now. If you are interested please email me at and I will connect you.

Someone on our team is looking for a pace partner for the Des Moines 1/2 marathon for a 1:45 finish time. If you are interested please email her at

Please try your best to attend our team meal September 24th! Hope to see you then.
Coach Don

Monday, September 20, 2010

Let's Eat!

This Friday is our final Pasta Potluck meal with all runners, runner's families, and support team members! Meet at Nazareth Church on the corner of Main St & University Ave at 6pm. We will be gathering in Bethal Hall. I really hope you can make this fun occasion. We will share some packing tips, race day tips, and where to meet before the race starts! You won't want to miss this information...or the good food for that matter :)

Bring your own table service, drinks will be provided, and bring food according to the first letter in your FIRST name.

A-L: Bring a pasta dish of some sort 
(please avoid anything spicy...makes for uncomfortable run the next day)
M-R: Bring a salad of some sort
S-Z: Bring garlic bread and a dessert of some sort

If you have your Marathon Support Team shirt wear it! Look forward to seeing you Friday night!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Important Notice!

This coming Sunday we are having a special video about Iowans for Africa prepared by Jeff Mickey, one of our team mates.  This will be shown at all of our services, as well as an interview about what our team is doing.  It would be awesome if many of you can be there wearing your training shirt.  Also, last year we took a team picture between services on this day so we are asking you to participate in that again.  The time for taking the picture will be 10:40 so please try to be there early.  It will be taken in the atrium of Orchard Hill Church, entrance E on the south side.  Whether you are attending services here, at Naz or anywhere, we would love it if you could come for the team picture.   And you don't have to wear our training shirt as I know some do not have them.  The more team mates we can get in this picture the more impact it will bring to our mission.

Also a reminder that Sunday is the last day to order race shirts so please bring those forms and a check for $15 for ordering your shirt if you have not done so.  Order forms will be available at Naz this Sunday as well.  I will be submitting the order early Monday morning.  Both race team and support team shirt order forms will also be available on this Saturday.  The support team shirt final day to order will be Sunday September 26.

We are hoping to get our team picture and some information about our mission and what God is doing through us in the media during the next week or two, if anyone has any contacts please pass the word along.

Here is a picture that keeps coming back to my mind.  Can you imagine 500 or more people standing in the grass by Nolan Plaza in down town Des Moines at 7:30 AM praying together?  What an awesome picture of how God is leading us through this journey.  It gives me goose bumps just thinking about it.

Have a great day and keep smiling! 
Coach Don

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fundraising & Food!!

 A reminder from Coach Don about off-line giving changes...

*If you had entered any offline donations onto your Iowans for Africa website before August 25th, they are no longer showing on your total and will have to be re-entered. Firstgiving made some changes which will actually help make giving easier and smoother! Sorry for the inconvience though.  If you had already given Don Williams the money that was collected and aren't sure about the amount/names, please give him a call and he will assist you.

Here is how to add offline donations now: (This is important info for everyone!)

 If a donor gives you a check, you can add that check amount to your fundraising page's total and display your donor in the list with all your online donors.  Here's how.
Sign into your firstgiving account.
On the Your Account at a Glance page, click the name of the page you'd like to work with.
Click Add Offline Donation.
A screen will come up asking for information about your donor.  This information will be confirmed by the nonprofit when they receive the check.  Once this information has been confirmed, it cannot be changed, so be sure to double-check what you've entered before clicking Continue!
*If you want to re-add your bulk amount of your offline donations, you can do so here, just list the first name as Offline and the last name as Donor and then enter the amount. It will then display again on your page.*
Upon clicking Continue, the donation will appear on your fundraising page in the table of donors at the bottom - your offline donors will look just like your online donors.  An email will also be sent to you and to your donor (if you've entered their email address) at this time, confirming that they made a donation to your page.
Then, make sure to turn in the check with the check donation form we have given out. A full receipt email will follow once we (OHC) have received and confirmed the check.
Thank you so much for getting behind this fund raising effort, some exciting things are happening that will be announced soon!
Coach Don

And don't forget our Carb-Loading TEAM (plus support members) Meal THIS Friday at 6PM!!!

Runners, runner's kids, runner's spouses, runner's parent's even... Mark your calendar for SEPTEMBER 10th! We will gather at Orchard Hill Church at 6:00pm for a pasta potluck. This will be a great opportunity to sit with your teammates and families and share a meal, hear encouragement and insight from some previous marathon runners, and load up on carbs before your big run Saturday morning!  Details below...

If your last name starts with...

A-D: Bring Garlic or Cheese Bread
E-I: Bring a salad of some sort
J-T: Bring a Pasta Dish of some sort
U-Z: Bring a Dessert of some sort

Also, bring your own dinner-ware. Drinks will be provided! 
It's an old fashioned potluck picnic! Hope to see you there!