Barefoot Rick's Kansas City Marathon Report - October 20, 2007
Going through the Plaza area at about mile 8, I was engaging the crowds and having fun! One runner I passed said, "I want what he's on!" I turned and said with a smile, "His name is Jesus and in His presence is fullness of joy!"
The preceding anecdote was very typical of the type of day I had at the 2007 Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon. It seemed like with every mile I kept growing in joy in happiness as I engaged the crowds, sang worship songs, talked about Jesus to runners as well as spectators, and just generally had a wonderful journey, both physically and spiritually. When I am looking out for the interests of others, for instance waving and "high-fiving" kids hands as I pass by, then I get more and more strength as the race goes on. At various times I would find myself telling others, when they asked "How can you do that barefoot?" -- that by His [Jesus'] strength I can do all things.
Marathon running gets to be more and more about Jesus, for me, rather than me out there as another "crazy barefoot runner". Lots of people run barefoot, a smaller contingent of barefoot runners run barefoot marathons, and then there are even fewer of us who are actually using a marathon as a means to preach the Gospel. As I mentioned to others on the course, barefoot running is not for everyone but Jesus is! He is the one that can truly set you free. As God has opened the door for me to speak about the love and mercy of the Lord through my barefoot running, I encouraged others to find what God has called them to do for Him.
This is not my typical race report. I guess I could talk about the weather, that it was perfect with the high 40s F at 7 a.m when we started and cracking 65 degrees F by 10:39 a.m. when I finished. I suppose I could talk about the bands along the way, or the nice oil slick pavement made smooth by tire particles. All that is fine but it is the same old stuff for me after 49 marathons. Instead, I would prefer to talk about my God and the love that I have for my Lord Jesus and the fun I had telling others.
Now some may say, "He looked and sounded like a fool out there, talking about Jesus and singing 'Jesus is my Lord, my Master my Savior' at the top of his lungs". Well, that's okay with me if folks want to think this. I would much rather be a fool for Christ in the courts of this world, but one day be an acceptable son to my Heavenly Father as I enter into His holy kingdom. That day, my friends, the race will be over and His true rest will be ours!
Finish Time - 3:39:39 (8:23 Pace)
50th Marathon (26.2 Miles or Ultra Distance)
32nd Consecutive Barefoot Marathon Since April 2004
*I am a marathon runner and do not prescribe to a run/walk method for MY marathons. Likewise, I do not judge anyone else for "finishing" a marathon in whatever way they can propel themselves across the finish line, whether it be walking, crawling, etc. All marathon finishes are notable in their own regard.
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