Thursday, November 15, 2012

Run for Missions 2012 Official Report

Run for Missions 5K, 10K, Half-Marathon

The 2012 Run for Missions events are all now successfully completed. The fundraising process will continue through the end of the year, but the biggest final push is in the next few days as the original goal was to have all pledges made by November 15th! We are still boldly shooting for our goal of $25,000 to fund the Scholarship and Missions Support Fund. The deadline has been extended and we can receive those funds all the way through the end of the year (postmarked by December 31st). If you want to support the Run for Missions with a gift per mile, please send a check payable to EFCMAYM, memo Run for Missions, 2018 W. Maple St., Wichita, KS 67213.
The 3rd Annual 5K, 10K, and Half-Marathon Run for Missions events were held on a blustery cold Saturday, October 27 in Haviland. The temperature at the starting line was in the mid-20s with a light wind from the south. 144 runners lined up to participate in three events, first a half-marathon starting at 8am and then the 5K and 10K events starting at 9am. The races attracted runners from Haviland, Pratt, Wichita and other cities from around Kansas. The race was sponsored by area businesses including Origins Coffeehouse of Haviland, Traci Ballard’s Gymnastics and Dance Studio, Haviland Telephone Company, Farmer’s Cooperative Company, and GoRun Wichita running store. New in 2012 were finisher’s medals for all half-marathon finishers and ribbons for all 5K and 10K finishers. Also new this year was chip timing for all three events. Chip timing is a computer generated system that tracks each runner with a coded chip on their shoe as they cross the finish line for a very accurate finish time recorded. The timing services were contracted by TATUR (Tulsa Area Trail and Ultra Running) Timing. The finish line is under a large inflatable chute with a ten foot Run for Missions banner hanging over it.

A simple course change near the Mile 3 marker made this year go really smoothly. The runners in the 10K and Half-Marathon had to battle some soft sand on the country dirt roads but they got to enjoy the beautiful Kansas prairie scenery and hills. But first they were hosted by friendly volunteers holding encouraging signs and even playing the bagpipes!

Half-marathon finishers finished in a wide range from an hour and 16 minutes to just over 3 hours. An awards assembly was held at 10:45am sharp presenting awards to the top three males and females in each event. Then a random raffle was held to give away the remaining prizes. The race prizes (cookies, cakes, pies, brownies, and fresh homemade desserts!) and hospitality were provided by Friends Women missionary groups from Argonia, Derby, Haviland, Hutchinson, Northridge, Pratt, Rose Hill, University Friends.

A few 2012 t-shirts are left for purchase at cost.

We are already looking forward to the 2013 Run for Missions events and with the dates to be released soon.

Run for Missions 100 Mile Fundraiser Run
The 5th Annual 100 Mile Fundraiser Run was held on a hot and windy November 9th and into the morning of the 10th. The temperatures hit the mid-80s during the heat of the day, producing record highs. The finish line was reached just after the sun came up on a cool breezy Saturday morning.

Mike Neifert and Adam Monaghan set out at 5am from 2018 W. Maple St, the Friends Ministry Center, with three pacers (Taylor Johnson, Jeff Kinniburgh, and Marc Compton) on the 104 mile quest to Haviland. We wound through the streets of Wichita, up to Central, over to Zoo Boulevard, and then headed west on 21st straight west for 50 miles before turning south on a country dirt road. Mike was accompanied by his crew vehicle operated by Greg and Isaac Garrison. My crew vehicle was operated by my wife, Sarah.  The third crew vehicle was the church van driven by Frank Penna, assisted most of the day by Marc Compton, whose job was to take help the pacers find the runners and then find their cars after pacing.

The first 25 miles were uneventful other than the wind. Our early morning shift pacers dropped off after mile 10 and Mike and I ran alone most of the way until mile 50. We were joined for an hour by a young boy on a bike from my church, Ky Leslie.
Mile 25-50 was were the run got pretty intense with full sun exposure, the heat soaring into the 80s, and an intense wind that gusted up to 40-50 mph at times. The miles, pain, heat, sun, and dehydration took it’s toll on Mike and he had decided to end his run at 50 miles.
See Mike Neifert’s full report of his experience this year at the Run for Missions. Mike is a brave hero and dedicated runner and even more important, a champion for the cause of missions.
The conditions were taking a serious toll on me as well. It took me about 10 hours and 30 minutes to complete the first 50 miles, slightly longer than normal. Heat and dehydration usually leads to nausea. This day was no exception. By mile 63 I had to vomit. Ironically, this is the third year in a row (of 5 total years of completing the 100 mile run) where I have puked for missions! J And it always seems to happen somewhere around the 60-70 mile mark.

I was joined by a whole host of pacers from mile 55 – 80 including Tim Hawkins, Dan from Pratt on a mountain bike with a spotlight to light the way for all the runners, Nate Dipman, Ryan Kendall, Matthew Schafer, Andy Bowman, Gabe Hancock, Ellen Sigley, Dwight Smitherman, David Frietas, and Jake Spencer. Each running different sections provided encouragement, motivation and company.
After the long bout with nausea for nearly 15 miles, by mile 70 I was running consistently again. Our team clicked off mile after mile as we could see the lights of Pratt pulling us in. We arrived at Pratt Friends Church and used the facility as the final aid station, at mile 81, before heading into the country for the final 23 miles to Haviland. On the west side of Pratt we encountered a train that was stopped on the tracks. We waited 10 minutes but knew that we had to find a way around or we were going to freeze up and fall asleep. So we actually drove around the section to the other side of the tracks and ran from there. About 30 minutes later we heard the train start to move.

The final 23 miles are always some of the most challenging and most exhilarating times. On one hand you are so close but on the other hand even the smallest number of miles begins to feel so psychologically overwhelming when you’ve already put on 80/90 miles on your legs. I was joined by 4 individuals who all ran ultra of their own in pacing me to the finish: Gabe and Andy – 45 miles, David 30 miles, Ellen 35 miles. We were also rejoined by Mike Neifert who had thrown up, had a shower and something to eat and drink. He helped provide crew and support and driving all the way to the end!

About 2 miles from Haviland the sun came up on Saturday morning.  The sun seemed to give me that final boost of energy I needed to finish strong. We ran pretty well all the way from Pratt but those last few miles were pretty fast, comparatively speaking. Running into Haviland was again once a thrill. It never gets old. Finishing 104 miles takes so much determination and persistence. I was overjoyed to cross the finish line with the 4 other ultra-marathoners and 50 mile runner Mike Niefert. Our crew, and family and a few other friends and well-wishers were there to cheer us on. We quickly went to host homes to shower, eat and sleep.
The Finish Line: 103.9 Miles
The Sunrise on Saturday Morning

As I limped around weary and tired for the next 24 hours I was just overwhelmed with gratitude for all the support and prayers and, as always, most of all for the donors who sacrifice to give to this cause. 5 years of the Run for Missions down, and 5 years to go…that seems to be the way this whole thing is working out. Here’s to making 2013-2017 the best 5 yet. Until next year… J