[You can read more about Kael's story and the reason behind this race HERE and HERE.]
As the runners lined up to take their marks, I was hit hard by the bittersweet of the moment. Yes this race was going to be raising money for an awesome thing, yes these runners were excited to race - and there were smiles and laughter everywhere. But the truth is that this couple has lost a son. And they are still grieving. Yet, amidst that, you could just feel God’s whisper, In all things I work for the good of those who love Me (Romans 8:28). That truth seemed to be floating through the air. I can’t really explain it, but later, after the race, Dawn nailed it when she told me that she felt such PEACE on race day. That’s what it was. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Phillipians 4:7).
The neatest thing upon arriving at the race site, was seeing Kael’s sweet face on the race t-shirts that were everywhere. It was like his presence was everywhere! As I looked around, I was also just overcome with the sheer amount of people who had signed up for this race and who had come to support Derek and Dawn. Police officers, adoption families, runners from ISU, moms pushing their kids in strollers, dads running next to their kids riding bikes, numerous families from our church, race rats, and on and on. The scene just shouted LIFE !!!! BEAUTIFUL LIFE!!!!
That’s Kael’s big brother, Kyler, leading the race route on the tandem pilot bike! Runners take your marks!
This is the gal who ended up winning the whole race. By the time she crossed the bridge she had passed the pilot bike!
And, some awesome news post-race, check this out….in Dawn’s words….
The Kael Man Race was a great success!!! Everything went SO well! God really worked during the planning of this race, race day, and His work will be seen far beyond race day. We received so much support. We had about 225 people registered for the race. God met our goal of 200-250 participants. He met us right in the middle :o) After tallying all the donations, registrations and taking out expenses, we have raised over $10,000 for adoption grants. We think that is so awesome and we are so excited about this.
The race went so smoothly and we have received several great compliments about how much fun the race was, even though it was so hot. We had no injuries and no one passed out from the heat, which was a concern, so a major blessing there. The only glitch we had was a technical issue with the timing so we can’t provide exact times to the participants. But we can improve this for next year. God really gave us peace during the race. As I watched the crowd of people running, I knew this is what God wanted us to do and it was just how I imagined it would be. I was able to hold it together until the race was done before all the emotion hit me. God supplied us what we needed when we needed it. He is faithful!
It was a great way to remember Kael and honor God for what He is doing in our lives. We would love to make this an annual race and continue to help families that want to adopt. We have 2 families already that I have emailed applications to, so we are moving onto the process of distributing the grants. We are keeping the donation feature on the website up, so people can continue to donate all year long...
Thankful for this family, and how God is putting their faith on display to draw others to Him.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."...(Revelations 21:1-5)