Monday, May 18, 2009

40 for 40

On May 9th, a good friend of ours, Steve celebrated his 40th birthday by attempting to run 40 miles in 8 hours. Now your first thought might be the same as mine was....Why in the world would anyone do that? Of course I am not a runner at ALL, so I can't even begin to imagine running....walking....biking....or doing anything but driving 40 miles! Steve's goal was to run 40 miles in 8 hours and take plegdes from his friends and family. He wanted to raise money for a local charity in our city's a large charity which provides tons of assistance to low income families or families who have fallen on hard times. One of the things they do is provide housing for people, mainly single women, who are trying to get back on their feet. It's truly a WONDERFUL thing, and they are funded basically by community support. When he mapped out his route, he asked us if we would be a pit stop for his run. WOW!!! We were truly humbled and honored to help out in this way, and we were really excited. Steve started his run about 2:00 am. YES, I said, 2:00 AM; so he could finish at 10:00 am. NPayne made signs and posted them throughout our neighborhood and along his route.
Steve first came to the " Payne Pit Stop" about 7:45 am. One of his co-runners, who happened to be Kenda our pastor's wife, would run ahead and get his gel packs and water and stuff ready for him; so he wouldn't have to stop to do all of that. Each time they would come back around, she would run ahead and get everything ready for him. He had different companions running with him throughout the 8 hours and sometimes he ran alone.

Addi and Elliot waiting for Mr. Steve to come by, so we could cheer him on, as he approached 10:00 am! He really seemed to enjoy the cheers, although I wouldn't doubt that he may have been slightly delusional and completely delirious by the time he reached our pit stop.
Each time we would see Steve and Kenda at the end of our block, NPayne would walk Drew and Bryna down to meet them. Then the girls would run up the block with Steve and Kenda. The girls LOVED it, but I think it really gave Steve the extra boost he needed.
Here are the girls, Kenda and Steve approaching the "Payne Pit Stop"!
Cal giving Mr. Steve a high five for a job well done!!!
Elliot waiting to toot her horn in celebration of Steve and his running companions big finish!!
At the end of the 8 hours, Steve was joined by his family (wife Kristi in the red tank, son Grant, daughter Reagan in the purple, daughter Audrey behind Kristi), several friends, and my Drewby (running alongside her buddy Reagan).
Crossing the FINISH LINE at the housing authority! HE DID IT!! I never doubted he would, but Help Me Henry....I can't begin to fathom running for 8 hours straight in the middle of the night nonetheless!!
CONGRATULATIONS to Steve and all of the people he helped by doing this run!! What a blessing!

He doesn't even look that tired!!!
Okay....well maybe he looks a little tired!!!
Steve ran 41.73 miles in 8 hours and took pledges for about $7000.00!
When he told the people at GRACE and the housing authority what he wanted to do for his 40th birthday, I imagine they fell on their knees as well....but not because they were exhausted....but because of how the glory of God was shown today. The housing authority was nearly out of money....isn't it amazing how God lays something on your heart right when it's suppose to happen? I pray that next time God lays something on my heart, I am as open to it and pay as close attention to it as Steve did!!! It was a blessing to be a part of this....even in such a small way as being a "pit stop"! It touched my life, NPayne's life and our children's lives! We are changed, in a better way, because of the good deed of our friend!
It was a wonderful experience to be there watching them cross the finish line....watching those women, some weeping, who were going to benefit a little longer from his generosity.
Now do I think NPayne will want to run 40 miles on his 40th bday.....FAT CHANCE, but he may be motivated to reach out in another way and that wouldn't surprise me! And since my 40th has already passed, I'm out of the woods (wink wink)!!!


Alicia said...

OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!

That is nothing short of amazing!!!

No doubt God was holding him up the entire time!!! the middle of the night even????

He has blessed sooo many people, and I'm sure encouraged so many others just by witnessing this!!!!!!

What a selfless gift!!!!!!

I bet there were plenty of tears at the finish line too!

Following Him said...

YAHOO for Steve...what a great man running those sweet miles and raising all of that money! So impressed :)