Tuesday, October 31

Team Nashville Half

On Saturday, I am planning to run the Team Nashville Half Marathon. Besides a couple of 5K races the next couple of weekends, it will be my final tune-up for the St. Jude Marathon in Memphis the first week of December. My training has only been sporadic since the end of the Uttermost due to an outbreak of busyness. Nevertheless, I am very much looking forward to the challenge. I've still got some time to get in a few really good long runs, so I am not to the panic stage just yet.

45 Down, 5 to Go

Just 5 more days. Just 5 more marathons. Dean Karnazes has nearly completed his Endurance 50 quest to run 50 marathons in 50 days in all 50 states. Yesterday, he ran the Kiawah Island Marathon in South Carolina. Today, he ran the Triple Lakes Trail Marathon in North Carolina. Tomorrow, he'll be in Maryland before making his way to Deleware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Then, for the grand finale, Karnazes will run with 40,000 other marathoners--including celeb first-timer, Lance Armstrong, in the ING New York City Marathon.

Saturday, October 28

42 Down, 8 to Go

Tomorrow, Dean Karnazes will run in the Marine Corps Marathon. It will be leg number 43 in his Endurance 50 quest to run 50 marathons in 50 days in all 50 states. Yesterday, in Atlanta's torrential rain storms, he took a nasty fall. But, he hopped right up, bloody, bruised, and wet to the bone and completed yet another 26.2 miles in 4:08. Amazing! Simply amazing!

Friday, October 27

41 Down, 9 to Go

Dean Karnazes is on the verge of accomplishing something rather spectacular. For the past 41 days, he has run a marathon every single day in his Endurance 50 quest to run 50 marathons in 50 days in all 50 states. Yesterday, he was in Louisville. Today, he was in Atlanta. Tomorrow, he'll be in Largo, Florida before making his way to Washington, DC for the Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday. Then, it will be just one week and six more marathons up and down the East Coast before the grand finale, as Karnazes runs side by side with Lance Armstrong in the granddaddy of them all, the ING New York City Marathon.

Sunday, October 22

Chicago Marathon Heroes

This morning, the 29th LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon saw 40,000 amateur athletes and weekend warriors, undeterred by cold, blustery weather, attempted something quite remarkable: the feat of running 26.2 miles. The news reports will likely focus on the elite runners (Robert Cheruiyot, winner of this year's Boston Marathon, held off fellow Kenyan Daniel Njenga to win in 2 hours, 7 minutes, 35 seconds while Ethiopia's Berhane Adere won the women's race in 2 hours, 20 minutes, 42 seconds for her first marathon victory, followed by Russia's Galina Bogomolova and Romania's Constantina Tomescu-Dita, who led the first 21 miles).

But for me, the real drama of the race takes place long after the elite runners have concluded their press conferences and returned to the comfort of their hotels, as moms and dads and next door neighbors, aunts and uncles and home room teachers, friends and acquaintances and cancer survivors do the inconceivable. Today they finally did it. They finished--having dedicated themselves to this over the long haul by investing untold hours of training over the course of the previous several months.

They are the ones who inspire me. They encourage me. They push me onward with their courage and tenacity. They are the real heroes today.

Oh yeah, and Dean Karnazes was there in the Windy City too. He ran his 36th marathon in 36 days. And he did it with a sub-3:30 time. Wow.

Saturday, October 21

E-50, Day 35

After a lovely week in New England, Dean Karnazes has returned to the Midwest in preparation for the big Chicago Marathon tomorrow. Amazingly, he has run a marathon a day--every day--for more than a month. But, even more amazing is the fact that he has run each one in a different state. He has already been to Alaska and Hawaii. He has run up and down the West Coast from the Pacific Northwest to the Southwestern Desert. He has run along the Gulf Coast and into the Deep South. He has run across the Great Plains and along Route 66. He even got to take in the glorious fall leaves in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Yesterday, he ran through pouring rain in Cleveland. Today he runs in the breezy cold of Grand Rapids. Then after he tackles the Windy City tomorrow, he will head to Mineapolis, Green Bay, and Bloomington before turning to the East Coast. He only has two weeks to go in his Endurance 50 quest to run 50 marathons in 50 days in all 50 states. It is more than a little difficult to fathom.

Saturday, October 14

Mission Accomplished

The first annual running of the Uttermost was a roaring success. We did it. Every mile, every day, every event. I'll be posting photos and final tallies on our fundraising totals this next week right here--so, stay tuned. Right now though, I am going to rest--at least for a little while!

Wednesday, October 11

Final Prep for the Uttermost

How do you prepare for a three-day endurance event like the uttermost? When all the training is done; when all the logistics have been covered; when all the courses have been reviewed; what else is there? Well, plenty. There is the serious hydrating. Then there is the carbo-loading. And of course, there is the requisite kit and swag packing.

All the books say, "rest, keep off your feet, rest, hydrate, rest, plan, and rest." So, despite having several meetings that I have had to attend today, I am trying my best to heed that wise counsel.

Truth be told, I have no idea if I can actually do what I have mapped out to do. But, I'll never know until I try. To be sure, we'll soon see.

Halfway There

Dean Karnazes is halfway there. It was twenty-five days ago that he began his Endurance 50 quest to run 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. Today, he ran in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Yesterday, he was in Dallas, Texas. The day before, he was in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The day before that, he was in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Tomorrow, he will be in Huntsville, Alabama. After that, he heads north and east to New England for a week before taking another swing through the Midwest and the South.

Somehow, he just keeps going and going. He has yet to show signs of weariness—despite a lingering head cold that has plagued him since the second week. Amazingly, he is averaging around 9-minute miles. He is like a human metronome! But even more impressive, is how he has inspired others to tackle challenges they never thought they would or could. I know that I probably would not have attempted the Uttermost if it were not for the example of Dean Karnazes.

Three Days; One Goal

It starts tomorrow. 175 miles, 100 students, 12 stages, 9 sponsors, 7 ministries, 4 disciplines, 3 days, 1 goal. The uttermost. Together, we can make a difference. Won't you help us? Listen to our radio spot and then, pledge your support at our website. Our kids will never be the same. You will never be the same. Our world will never be the same--from here to the uttermost parts of the earth.

Tuesday, October 10

Just 2 More Days!

Make a difference. Have an impact. Use your influence, your gifts, and your opportunities. That's what I tell my students almost every day. With such heady imperatives, it is important that I steer those idealistic young men and women in the right direction when it comes to practical application. I can't just encourage them to change the world and then leave it at that. I need to give them some sense of how. I need to let them see that they don't have to wait until they're grown before they can excercise their influence for good.

That is why I launched the Uttermost. We are just two days away from a titanic effort to run and cycle 175 miles, raising funds for some of the most vital missions organizations in the world today--providing medical care for the poorest of the urban poor, raising up the next generation of leaders in benighted refugee camps and slums, educating young minds in war-torn Iraq, and digging fresh water wells in AIDS-ravaged communities in Africa.

So far we have raised just over $14,000. That is wonderful. My goal however is to top $20,000. We have two more days to get there. Will you help?

Won't you take time to listen to a brief audio message describing what the Uttermost is all about? Or, visit the websites of each of the ministries to which we are commited. And then, pledge your support--won't you?

Our kids will never be the same. You will never be the same. Our world will never be the same--from here to the uttermost parts of the earth.

Sunday, October 8

Endurance 50 in Alaska


Golf with Tiger? A marathon with Dean?

Endurance 50 in Memphis


Running in the rain with Dean Karnazes in Memphis! A lifetime memory!

Phedippidations Half

In preparation for my 3-day, 175-mile Uttermost challenge later this week in the Shelby River Bottoms, I participated in the First Annual Phedippidations World Wide Half Marathon Challenge yesterday. Along with 557 runners from 23 nations around the globe, the virtual race was organized by Steve "Runner," the host of the Phedippidations podcast. The show is just about the only web-broadcast that I faithfully listen to every week. I was able to maintain a brisk 9-minute per mile pace throughout and finished at 1:58.20. Obviously, I will not be running at anything like that pace for the Uttermost. But, it was fun to see that all my distance work could be translated into a PR.

Friday, October 6

The Uttermost and the E50

In just a few more days, I will be testing the limits of both my training and my endurance as I attempt to run and cycle 175 miles in 3 days during the Uttermost. But, that effort almost pales in comparison to what Dean Karnazes is doing.

On Wednesday, he ran 26.2 miles among the palms in 4 hours and 35 minutes on the island of Maui--it was his 18th marathon in 18 days in 18 states. Yesterday, he ran another marathon near Phoenix among the cactus in 4 hours and 45 minutes. And today, he ran near Las Vegas--a scorching pace of 4 hours and 8 minutes. He has now topped 500 miles in just 20 days in his Endurance 50 quest. And he is not even halfway to the end! Amazing.

It makes the Uttermost almost seem like small potatoes. But, only almost.

Tuesday, October 3

Uttermost at the Shelby Bottoms

The 3-day, 175-mile Uttermost will be staged in the beautiful Shelby Park and the Shelby River Bottoms Greenway. This past Saturday, I had a chance to run a 15K race there. It was the fourth time I'd had that opportunity--twice in the final miles of the Country Music Marathon and twice during the Tom King Half. This time though, almost the entire race was along the Greenway and so I was able to appreciate it far more than I could any of those previous times. It is such a beautiful pathway alongside the Cumberland River adjacent to downtown Nashville. I am now so looking forward to spending three full days there--right in the heart of the city but simultaneously tucked away in God's glorious creation.

On and On and On

Pushed along by 9,000 other runners, Dean Karnazes clocked his fastest 26.2 mile run yet. His 3 hour 44 minute time on Sunday at the Portland marathon marked his fifteenth marathon in fifteen days! Right after the race though, he had to zip straight to the airport where he caught a flight to Anchorage, Alaska. So then yesterday, under the threat of snow and sleet, he ran through the foothils of the Chugach Mountains. Strategically slowing his pace to an almost mortal 4 hours and 32 minutes, he was apparently saving his strength for today and the seventeenth leg of his Endurance 50 quest in San Francisco--where he ran the marathon in 4 hours and 8 minutes. Next stop: Maui, Hawaii.

A Message from Amy

Uttermost Link

Eat, sleep, breathe, repeat. That seems to be what I'm doing with the Uttermost now that it's October. It's not that I'm expressly busy with the planning and coordinating at this point so much as wracking my brain to figure out who else I can tell, where else I can post a flyer, what other creative things I can come up with to get people to GIVE MONEY! Especially on-line. I was so excited about getting an on-line giving feature up on the UTTERMOSTrace.com website, and you know how many people have donated...TWO! Come on folks! I love y'all with all my heart, but we can do better than this.

This week begins mega planning for me on the financial end of things. I'm in charge of keeping track of the financial donations that come in from around the country to help support organizations such as Blood:Water Mission and African Leadership, digging fresh wells and nurturing both the physical and spiritual needs of our indigenous brethren in Africa. Money to keep Mercy Children’s Clinic a thriving and vital part of our community, enabling them to give medical attention to a wide variety of children with varying needs and means. And then there's Servant Group International--what better way to bring the peace of the gospel to the Middle East, minister to our persecuted brethren, and raise up the next generation of Iraqi politicians, business men, and spiritual leaders than from within the country itself. I want desperately to be so busy this month that it takes me weeks to calculate how much money we've raised for these great missions groups!

These are exciting times. These ministries are doing exciting things. Won't you join us in encouraging them in their Kingdom calling?