8 years ago, our family ran in the Calgary Marathon Race Weekend for the first time. Kevin ran the 1/2 marathon, and the girls ran the “kids marathon” which involved logging 41 km before race day and running the last 1.2 km with a crowd of kids (and I, of course, cheered loud and took lots of pictures):
We haven’t missed a year since. Kevin has run the marathon most years, and even did a 50 K last year. The girls moved from the kids marathon to 5 Ks and 10 Ks . . . And, when 5 years ago, Engineering Ministries International had a chance to become one of the official charities for the Charity Challenge, the Calgary Marathon became even more fun, because suddenly there was a whole team of people running with us and cheering us on (and we get to be in the TEAM EMI video 😉 ) :
This year, though – this year was special. Both girls had set the bar high, and it’s amazing how far they’ve come as runners – and how much they love to run.
Talia, at 14, was determined to run her first half-marathon. That’s 21.1 km. That’s a long ways! Now, she’s been running 10 Ks since she was 9, without really training much between races at all. But Kevin insisted that she had to be running semi-regularly if she was going to attempt that kind of distance, and he’d pace her through the course. So she trained, and a few weeks before the Calgary Marathon, she ran a 15 K, the furthest distance she’d attempted so far. But – despite being a bit nervous on race day – she had an amazing run. She basically treated it like a really long 10 K, and actually wasn’t much slower than her 10 K pace. 2 hours and 4 minutes after she crossed the start line – and with a strong sprint at the end! – she finished her very first (but according to her, not her last) half marathon.
Kaisa wasn’t old enough for the half-marathon yet, so she was going to content herself with aiming for a personal best on the 10 K (which she got, with a chip time of 57:55). But then a friend signed up for the 5 K, so she tossed around the idea of running with her too, since the 5 K race was several hours after the 10 K. In the end, her friend couldn’t run, but Kaisa did . . . she started with some other TEAM EMI runners (including a cute baby in a stoller 😉 ), and ran with one of the interns for a while, but in the end, she couldn’t NOT run all out . . . and finished her second race of the day in just over 31 minutes.
That evening we enjoyed another perk of being part of the team – the TEAM EMI BBQ (including lots of barely valuable prizes 😉 ). Kaisa got a Timmies card for being the top youth fundraiser, and they both got a thumbs up sticky pad for their personal bests
The team actually ended up raising almost $10,000 for eMi Canada, and donations are still open (emicanada.org/sponsorteamemi) so they’re hoping to by the end of the month it’ll be OVER $10,000. The project that they’re sponsoring this year is the design of a Theological College & Conference Centre in Malawi – Steve & our interns are actually in Malawi working on that project right now.
And my runners? Well, the girls have a triathlon to run this weekend – and we had to convince Kaisa that running a 10 K the day before her triathlon was probably not the best idea. And Kevin’s training for an 80 K this fall and is trying to get lots of kms (and lots of hill climbs!) in before then (he’s been blogging about his running at calgaryrunning.wordpress.com if you’re really interested). Hey – if my family wants to run, I’ll keep cheering them on . . .