Friday at 5:55pm I left work and drove over to Sheila, Sarah, & Liz's house, where 8 of us gathered to load into a couple of cars and drive to Indianapolis. Along the way, I made numerous last-minute calls to arrange substitutes for the youth soccer program Saturday morning in South Bend. I also had a few phone calls with J-T and Ryan in Indy as they attempted to pickup required packets for each of us before 9pm. It turns out Kinkos will not let you print out a page containing 8 photocopied drivers licenses, two of which were from my Dad & his co-worker Darrell in Muncie, who gave us their own registrations to the sold out race. We were all going to run or watch the Indy Mini Marathon & 5k.
We made it to the triangle, the People of Praise members living together on the north side of Indy near IUPUI. Liz, Sheila, & Allesha were dropped off with Trish at the women's household and Pete G, Pete T, Ricky, Kyle, & I walked across the street to an empty house. J-T & Ryan are hard workers, yet had made their home available, which was perfect for us to all go upstairs and roll out our sleeping bags in some common space together. It was about a mile and a half away from the race activities happening on the south side of IUPUI. 35,000 people register for the half marathon, 4,000 for the 5k. Liz & Trish dropped us off nearby, and we all squeezed into our "corrals" where the organizers have attempted to roughly line us up in massive groups based on how fast we've guessed we'll run it. After the gun went off, the tide of runners slowly crept forward. Some from our group made it over the start line 2 minutes later. Others (myself included) came by at 12 minutes, and still more went by at 35 minutes. Quite the procession!
It was an amazing race, with countless bands of all types lining the streets. I was never more than a few feet away from other runners. Jam packed. You'd better like other people if you run this race. David Z ran with my Dad's registration, and even though he started a good 10 minutes before me, I ended up crossing the finish line only a good 9 minutes & 50 seconds after him. In other words, I beat him by 10 seconds! Too bad our separation in corrals meant we didn't actually run together! Too bad he didn't actually train. ;-) I had started w/ Pete T, and he beat me by a few minutes. I ended up running it in 1 hr, 46 minutes, 46 seconds, for an 8 min 9 second mile pace.
We all gathered at a designated meeting spot afterward, and more POP'ers were there who had run or had come to see us. We reminisced in the experience and got to catch up with physically distant friends. Then we walked back to the houses, taking our sweet time on exhausted legs. Trish "threw together" a chicken salad lunch for us, and then we eventually made it to the canal walkway downtown for another leisurely walk with a pit stop for gelato in the middle. Then we drove to the Indy branch community center, which I actually hadn't been to before even though it's been in use for a few years. It's a beautiful facility, and it was being used for Jenny Sergio's graduation party. I don't really know her but it was a great opportunity to see all of her loved ones honoring her and congratulating her. Though originally from SB, she had lived in household with an Indy family for years, and many sharings testified to God hard at work through her presence in the branch. The biggest one being that her household went through a terrifying cancer ordeal and Jenny sacrificed her time and energy to love the family in many tangible ways.
We all were exhausted for the drive home. In my car, Sheila proved to be the best liar when we played "2 truths and a lie". :-P Though it is a game of deception, it's also a fun way to get to know people, if you allow it to lead to more conversation about the things you say.