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On Sunday, October 16, 2022 my daughter, aged 25, ran her first marathon – the Toronto Waterfront marathon. Though I’m currently living 3000 kms away in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada – I was there at the race to cheer her on.

I was not prepared for the emotional intensity of the experience.

Thousands of runners. 42 kilometers or 26 miles. It’s not for the faint of heart – or body.

A few surprises confronted me: the runners were all shapes and sizes and ages. Big and small; young and old; male and female. Their faces were focussed and sometimes smiling; and they were always looking forward.

You have to sign up for the race – it costs $200 per runner.

You have to run the course as it's marked out for you.

Disciplined training is a must if you want to finish.

One runner literally carried an ironing board and an iron – I guess he was an “iron-man” – and he wanted everyone to know it! We saw him at the 10 KM marker and again at the finish line. Still running with ironing bord and iron in his grip.

The most emotional scene was at the finish line. The crowd was cheering and ringing cow bells as they looked for their favourite runner – a friend or like me a - family member.

It was more endurance and perseverance than competition – everyone seemed to be rooting for everyone. Everyone who finished got a medal! That’s the prize – finish the race.

The next day my daughter said this: “I can’t imagine running that race without someone there at the finish line to meet me and celebrate the accomplishment."

Hebrews 12:1-2: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

“Run in such a way as to win the prize.”

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