I love God, my wife, and kids. I also love running but God and family comes first. Currently, I am the Family Pastor at Bella Vista Church in Rockford, Michigan. I love being a pastor and making disciples of Jesus. One of my favorite things to do is read the Bible. In fact, between 2014 and 2019 I have read the Bible 133 times in its entirety. God’s Word is powerful! God has changed my life through the Scriptures. To love God is the greatest commandment and to love others comes next.
When Did I Start Running? I have been running since I was six years old. My mom owned a restaurant when I was little. I would hang out at the restaurant everyday during the summer and my mom would send me to the park across the street to run laps around it. I had a lot of energy to get out. My mom made me do a local walking/jogging event with her when I was six. She walked and I ran the entire 12 miles!
Running Bio: I was running a 4:45 mile on the track by 8th grade and a 16:00 in cross-country for the 5k by 9th grade. I qualified and ran at the State Meet all four years of high school in Cross-Country and in Track. My highest finish at the Oklahoma State Cross Country Meet was 6th place my sophomore year and 7th my junior year. I also finished in the top 20 my freshman and senior years. I ran with a fever my freshman year (was battling a sickness) and my senior year I had a terrible night sleep and woke up with a painful crick in my neck. One notable race I had in high school after my sophomore year was with Team USA in Sydney, Australia. I ran the City to Surf 14k race and finished in 200th place overall with a 50:24 on August 10th 1997.
I ran for Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana. Grace College participated in the NAIA and NCCAA division of sports. I had 7 NAIA national appearance and 12 NCCAA national appearances in the sports of Cross-Country, Indoor Track,and Outdoor Track. I was a 3 time National Champion in the NCCAA division in Track and Field. Fun fact, I have run the 4X100 meter relay and the 10,000m in the same meet. I did everything from sprint relays to the longest distance events in college. Some of my PR’s in college include 100m in 10:60, 400m in 51:50, 800M in 1:56, 1500m in 4:08; 10,000 in 32:21, Half Marathon in 1:15:18 and the Marathon in 3:03:10.
After college I ran competitively in road races for about 4 years. I ran a personal best 1:14:59 in the half marathon in 2005 on April 10th in Xenia, Ohio. Then a 2:48:15 in a marathon on 35 miles a week training on September 10th, 2005 in Winona Lake, Indiana. I retired from racing by 2007.
I let 10 years pass before I started to get an itch to run a serious race again. I attempted the Veterans Marathon in November of 2017 in Columbia City, Indiana but dropped out shortly after the halfway point because of cramping and fatigue. My halfway split was 1:28:11. Somewhere between the halfway point and mile 14 I stopped running. I had never quit a race before. This was my first DNF. It was truly an eye opener as I had thought my training had been good enough to run a decent race and qualify for the Boston Marathon. I was wrong and it was discouraging. I had a choice to make. Retire again or get back into the fight. Not finishing that race left a bad taste in my mouth. I took a long break from hard training and racing to pray and think things over. In 2019 I was officially back training to race again. I completed the Kalamazoo Marathon (3:01:08) and Grand Rapids Marathon (2:51:38) in 2019. I am currently training for the 2020 Boston Marathon.
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