This was my 12th straight year to compete in the 5K Division, of the White River Marathon for Kenya! That means I have been blessed to participate in the event each year since it started!
The crowd starts showing up at the Cotter, Arkansas, High School long before daybreak, and around dawn, the group heads outside to the starting line.
The temperature in the Ozarks in late November is almost always cold, but a misting rain added to the "chill factor", for the 2015 start-up.
In spite of the dreary skies, the race had very few "no shows" on the morning of the event. Even the "no-shows" do not have to feel too guilty about their choice, as part of the entry fee goes to fund programs in Kenya operated by the well-known humanitarian organization, World Vision . (See previous blogs I published, for information on World Vision. Archived dates are October 7, 2009; November 21, 2009; October 4, 2012; November 24, 2013).
My friend, Diane, was all smiles as she completed the finish line! If you want to have those same feelings of accomplishment, go to the website www.whiterivermarathon.com and sign up for the 2016 event! The race filled up in 2015, and some folks had to be turned away, so do not procrastinate!
I was absolutely DELIGHTED to get a First Place medal for my age category in the 2015 race! It has been my observation, since this was race #12 for me, that it is not so much that I have gotten faster since I did my first race, where I did not win any kind of medal; rather, it is just the fact that I have persevered, and been promoted into progressively older race categories, where there are fewer participants!
The unique aspect about all the folks in this photo, showing off their prize medals, is that they are all members of the North Central Chapter of the Arkansas Master Naturalists ( wordpress.arkansasmasternaturalists.org ) ! Could it be that learning about the natural world makes you more appreciative of the miracle of the human body??!! So appreciative, in fact, that you make efforts to stay active??!!
One way the married couple in this photo keeps active, is by being a part of the devoted Master Naturalist Trail Patrol volunteers, who do some hard physical labor, to keep our area hiking trails "maintained". In the process, they are also "maintaining" the physical health of their own bodies!
A big motivator for me to keep striving for optimum health, is a program called First Place 4 Health. It is a Christ-centered healthy living program, that is available nationwide. You can check for classes in your area by going to their website, www.FirstPlace4Health.com and typing in your zip code. One aspect of the program is memorizing a Bible verse each week, and I use visual aids from my photography to help me remember the words. One of my verses for the current "Healthy Boundaries" study is from Galatians 5:7 and says, "You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?" Naturally, I thought of these photos I had taken at the various races I have participated in, although, fortunately, I do not have a photo of someone who kept me from finishing! Since I want to continue running a good race in life, I am going to keep an eye out for those things that that DO "cut in" to my obedience to the truth! This includes things that would keep me from participating in the 2016 White River Marathon, scheduled for Saturday, November 19. Being able to complete another 5K will give me "3.2 MILES OF SMILES"! Tricia