My Week with the LIFE Runners A-Cross the Country Relay

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Me on Old Hwy 40 in Danville, MO. I ran a 7.5 mile stretch of the relay the first day for Mid-MO LIFE Runners.  That car is my sister who trailed me as I ran those first 2 legs.

My week with the A-Cross the Country Relay…By the  Numbers:

The relay course (our part) started about 60 miles north of my house and finished 110 miles north.  So when I left in the morning – had to take everything needed for the day.  I had a large cooler in the trunk filled with water and sport drink for the runners.  Also had bags of snacks, first aid kit, LIFE Runner cards, sign, my running paraphernalia, extra clothes, laptop, paperwork, LIFE Runner binder and probably a few other things.  My backseat looked like I had issues with hoarding.

The first day we were on some pretty muddy roads, so after pulling in and out of those a few times, my mud caked tires looked like we had done some off-road driving.   Add to that the backseat, the dashboard covered with maps/binder and the muddy car mats on the floor board and heavy layer of dust from the gravel/dirt roads (day 3), we were looking pretty questionable when we pulled into Macaroni Grill on our way home after we finished on Thursday.

map mid mo 2

My personal numbers:

  • 532 – Miles driven to get to and from –  start, stop and legs. 
  • 18 – Miles I ran in the 3 days.
  • 10 – Average minutes of each mile I ran (just kidding – didn’t time it but not that fast).  🙂
  • 10 – Average hours I spent with relay each day.
  • 4 – Number of times got lost 🙂 due to fatigue or missing/faded signs.

As the LR Mid-MO Chapter leader with Bill and Kris Pauls, we were pretty proud of these numbers…

  • 143 – Miles covered by all Mid-MO runners.
  • 40 – Number of  legs for Mid-MO averaging 3 miles each.
  • 35 – Number of Mid-MO runners.
  • 23 – Number of new LIFE Runners participating.
  • 4 – Number of months ago that planning began for us.
  • 3 – Number of days of the Mid-MO part of the relay.

The Pauls were a tremendous help with all the planning and implementation of the relay.  They are awesome team mates!  They did so much to insure success of the relay.  I can’t begin to quote their numbers, but here are some that I do know –

  • 31 – Add’l Miles (Western MO) Bill and Kris ran so MO hit 100%.
  • 24 – Miles Bill (17)  and Kris (7 ) ran of the Mid- MO portion.
  • 10 – Average hours Bill and Kris spent with relay each day.
  • 7 – the a.m. hour Bill took so I didn’t have to leave house so early.
  • 1 – Times Bill  trailed me as I ran, drawing attention of local sheriff.
Bill and Kris Pauls are my "partners in crime" with the Mid-MO Chapter.  This was about 4 weeks out from the Relay.

Bill and Kris Pauls are my “partners in crime” with the Mid-MO Chapter. This was about 4 weeks out from the Relay.

There were 7 of us from Vitae (my office) running in the relay.  Not pictured here isRene Maxey also ran with us.

There were 7 of us from Vitae (my office) running in the relay. Not pictured here is Rene Maxey who also ran with us.  Carl Landwehr, Vitae’s president, showed his support by joining us in the picture.

Sarah Black (my niece) and Zach Lauf (Godson and nephew) met the St. Louis LIFE Runners to start the Mid-MO Chapters portion of the Relay.  They are pictured here (Center) with St. Louis LIFE Runners as well as Bill and Kris Pauls.

Sarah Black (my niece) and Zach Lauf (Godson and nephew) met the St. Louis LIFE Runners to start the Mid-MO Chapters portion of the Relay. They are pictured here (Center) with St. Louis LIFE Runners as well as Bill and Kris Pauls.

Some of the Mid-MO women of day 1.  Heart and soul.

Some of the Mid-MO women of day 1. Heart and soul (sole).

Howard County, MO Sheriff checked in on us as I was finishing a leg on day 2 of the 3 days our chapter covered.

Howard County sheriff checked in on us as I was finishing a leg on day 2 of the 3 days our chapter covered.

Our good friend Karla Lang ran a couple of legs on day 2 and then offered us a great spaghetti dinner at the end of the day.  Beautiful Bed and Breakfast.  Go to her website at http://www.auntjodysfarmhousebedandbreakfast.com/

Our good friend, Karla Lang, ran a couple of legs on day 2 and then offered us a great spaghetti dinner at the end of the day. Beautiful Bed and Breakfast. Click on the image to go to her website – great place to stay while running, biking or sight-seeing, in beautiful Blackwater, Missouri.

Day 3 was the warmest of all the days we covered.  We ended up eating a lot of dust running on all gravel roads with a lot of hills to finish it out.

Day 3 was the warmest of all the days we covered. We ended up eating a lot of dust running on all gravel roads to finish it out.

This is Jim Thomas from Share-Life farms in Marshall, MO. He saw some of the LIFE Runners and wanted to donate something. He made a trip back home and gave us some of these refrigerated  organic sour apples - they were really good.  Blessings to him for being so generous and kind.

This is Jim Thomas from Share-Life farms in Marshall, MO. He saw some of the LIFE Runners and wanted to donate something. He made a trip back home and gave us some of these refrigerated organic sour apples – they were really good. Blessings to him for being so generous and kind.

My sister Dolores did this with me and was there on the first and last day.  She walked 7 miles of the relay and trailed me with the car for most of mine on both those days.

My sister Dolores did this with me and was there on the first and last day. She walked 7 miles of the relay and trailed me with the car for most of mine on both those days.

IMG_2504We met some awesome people along the relay journey. This is the Whitney family and we are near Marshall, MO. They are all runners. (L to R) Me, Corey Lyons (Stephanie’s brother), Matt (Dad), Talon, Ty, Stephanie (Mom) and Dolores (my sister). They covered 5 legs of the relay.

A lot of dirt/gravel roads finished out day 3.  Notice the layer of dirt on my bumper.

Day 3 was all dirt/gravel roads.  Testament to that is the layer of dirt on my bumper.

I am so thankful I'm able to run and participate in such an exciting adventure.

I am so thankful I’m able to run and take part in such an exciting adventure. My running pouch that is under my shirt adds a few inches to my mid section.  No, that is not my stomach – ha!

My friend Kristina Davis and I are running in the More/fitness Half Marathon (her first) in New York next month.  Here she is finishing her 4 mile leg of the relay.

Handing off the East baton to Bernard Krumpelman in Davis, MO after my last leg and Mid-MO portion of Relay.

Handing off the East baton to Bernard Krumpelman in Davis, MO after my last leg and Mid-MO portion of Relay.

The area in Missouri that we were running in was so rural that the street sign marking the end of my last leg and the Mid-MO portion...was in the tree.

The area in Missouri that we were running in was so rural that the street sign marking the end of my last leg and the Mid-MO portion…was in a tree.   My red face and bare legs tells you it was much warmer than when we started that day.

This was 142 miles (35 Runners) from where the Mid-MO Chapter of LIFE Runners began their quest to fill in the legs of the A-Cross the Country Relay which had 4,089 total miles.

This was 143 miles (35 Runners) from where the Mid-MO Chapter of LIFE Runners began their quest to fill in the legs of the A-Cross the Country Relay which had 4,089 total miles.

Bill and Kris Pauls and their son, Jeff, adopted several open legs near Kansas City so Missouri had 100% coverage.  Bill and Jeff ran so many miles, that it is the equivalent of a marathon for each of them.  Bill actually had just completed a marathon in Kentucky on March 9.  That was less than 1 week before the start of the Mid-MO portion of the relay.  Cheers to them for their commitment and passion for the cause of life.

Bill and Kris Pauls and their son, Jeff, adopted several open legs near Kansas City so Missouri had 100% coverage. Bill and Jeff ran so many miles, that it is the equivalent of a marathon for each of them. Bill actually had just completed a marathon in Kentucky on March 9. That was less than 1 week before the start of the Mid-MO part of the relay. Cheers to them for their commitment and passion for the cause of life.

James Vignola wanted to run in the relay so much that he chose to do so even though the MSsHAA told him it would disqualify him from competing in high school track and field for 1 year.  James ran the last 2 legs of day 2 of the Mid-MO portion of the A-Cross the Country Relay.  It was not a competition, he and many of the other runners ran alone, there was no medals, etc.  It was about raising awareness, offering our running up as a prayer and sacrifice.  We are hopeful that MSSHAA will allow James who is a Freshman in high school, to continue competing.  He is a great example to other students and role model for all.  Blessings to him and his very supportive family.

James Vignola wanted to run in the relay so much that he chose to do so even though the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) told him it would disqualify him from competing in high school track and field for 1 year. James ran the last 2 legs of day 2, of the Mid-MO portion of the A-Cross the Country Relay. The relay was not a competition, he and many of the other runners ran alone, there were no medals, timer, etc. It was about raising awareness for the unborn, offering our running up as a prayer and sacrifice. We are hopeful that MSHSAA will allow James who is a Freshman at Helias High School, to continue competing. He is a great example to other students and role model for all. Blessings to him and his very supportive family.

So today the relay continues through Kansas City and  begins edging north to St. Joseph, Missouri.

It was a wonderful experience.  We met some of the most fascinating people along the way with stories that could fill a book.

For me, today, I have a 9 mile long run.  As I run those miles I’ll be thinking of all the LIFE Runners that are running the great A-Cross the Country Relay for Pro-life.

 

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4 responses

  1. WOW!!!! Great stuff!! Thanks so much for all you are doing and have done. The numbers are impressive. What a wonderful friendship we have developed and start of many others. The prayers and sacrifices are WORKING!!!!! I would like to share this with family members. All in Christ….for Pro Life!!!!! Kris

    • Thanks Kris! You and Bill make everything fun. Also, really appreciate you all a lot. I failed to mention how much you go above and beyond getting shirts and gear to everyone – keeping costs down and sacrificing your own time to save others shipping costs. I hope you and Bill have a restful weekend before Monday. Then get some much needed down time.

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