Running Your Own Race While Helping Others

By Neil Earle

Proof I was there...

There is a lot that is truly admirable about sports used in the right way.

St. Paul knew that as a fan of the Games in his day. He spent lots of his ministry in Greece where the Olympics began of course. This is why he wrote about “pressing towards the mark” and “receiving the prize” and especially in Hebrews 12:1, “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Philippians 314; 1 Corinthians 9:24).

I emulated Hebrews 12:1 as we rounded the corner of the March 8 Germantown Half Marathon and Mayor’s Cup 5K event here in Memphis last Sunday. Gasping and staggering we thought we had about made it when a long long stretch opened up before us and – around the corner – a disheartening uphill rise came into view, the crest of which hosted the Finish Line.

I was out of gas for sure and ended with an elapsed time of 51:56, two minutes above my record but better than last year’s first race of 58 minutes. Maybe the 44 degree weather didn’t help, possibly, but that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

Neil Earle shows off his prize rock.

But lots of fun nevertheless. About 1200 of us ran and I was fifth in my 70-74 age group. Not bad but can do better with several more races to go. Most of the $35 entry fee went to Special Olympics I heard and just as well – for I had a part to play in the 2015 Special Olympics in Los Angeles. More of “what sports is really all about.”

Last summer I won medals four out of seven times mainly because I showed up at age 72 along with other brave seniors older than myself. Ronald McDonald House gave me a memorial rock for first in my age group in 2019 and I hope to be back to defend my crown – er, rock – later this summer.

Hey, there are still lots of 5K events scheduled across this vast land. Get out of your rut and join us. Get out of your rut and live! Get off the couch and meet some of the finest people in your community. You’ll always be glad you did.

Neil with Special Olympic athletes in 2015.