Number 7597 on Marathon Monday

I am not athletic but when Marathon Monday comes on the first day of spring vacation in Boston I am a fan. The city is alive with people from everywhere. Pick your country and your language – it’s here. You have to dodge cameras (lest you end up in the Facebook photo album of a stranger)and tourists (who are staring up at skylines, oblivious to those of us below).

The Boston Marathon is a 26.2 mile race that goes from Hopkinton, Massachusetts and ends at Copley Square beside the Boston Public Library. Around 26,000 runners have come, representing every state, and over 90 countries. As for spectators? Over half a million of us will be on the sidelines vicariously sweating and cheering on the competitors. The race not only attracts élite runners but also a wheelchair and handcycle race.

This year we are celebrating entry number 7597. Carmen is a friend from Arizona who we met through our church. Beautiful and brilliant, Carmen is sure proof of a world that is not fair. As a third culture kid who migrated as a toddler from Canada to Ecuador, she has one foot on the ground and another foot in an airplane: since we last saw her four years ago she’s been in India, Uzbekistan, Spain, Paraguay and possibly some I have forgotten.

Carmen lives life with passion and that passion is contagious. Over lunch yesterday we talked about her journey to the marathon. It began in college at Arizona State University where she ran her first marathon with a time of 4:30. It’s safe to say she was hooked. The marathon that qualified her for the Boston event was in Tucson and she ran it in 3 hours 14 minutes (of course I would think anything is great time, but this really is!) This is beyond my comprehension so all I can do is sit back and admire.

Following the Tucson marathon a pivotal sports event for Carmen was the Worldwide Championship Duathlon held in Spain this past September. She qualified with 30 others to represent the U.S team at this event

As non sports people we wanted to know what she would eat for breakfast, what shoes she would wear, and if she was nervous. She’ll eat two Pure bars packed with dates, walnuts and protein and have tea. Her shoes? Take a look below and see her shoes! Is she nervous? Not really. I think it’s a “Chariots of Fire” thing – when she runs she feels the pleasure of God.  And this is what I love about this 26-year-old woman – she is taking this in her stride, enjoying everything that Boston has to offer, taking pleasure in God and running and at today’s marathon she’ll give it her best shot.

“I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” Eric Liddell 

Day before the marathon
Shoes to take her the 26.2 mile marathon