Fourteen hours before the start of yesterday's Chicago Marathon, four friends set off to run a total of 100 miles (74 miles to the start of the Chicago Marathon) in a bid to secure sponsors for 400 children. World Vision writer James Addis followed their progress on his own little adventure through part of the night and during the marathon itself — sometimes by taxi, sometimes by bicycle, and sometimes by train…
What a mission! Our four runners will run 74 miles mostly along the Chicago lakefront all through the night, before reaching the Chicago Marathon starting line in time for the beginning of the official race.
The four runners are:
- Paul Jansen Van Rensburg, 37, a pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois
- Rusty Funk, 26, Team World Vision staffer, based in Chicago
- Michael Chitwood, 36, National director of Team World Vision, based in Chicago
- Hannah Covert, 24, a nurse from Arizona
They all have one thing in common: They have seen sponsorship at work in Africa and are passionate to see more children sponsored.
Saturday (October 8,2011): Let the 100 miles begin...
3:30 p.m. Team meeting in a tiny hotel room. The four runners plus several support staff. The mood is jovial. Steve Spear, a pastor at Willow Creek Church, prays for the team. He asks for protection, courage, and perseverance, should the runners feel like giving up, and also for the hundreds of children who will be sponsored and whose lives will be changed. Afterward, we wander down to the lakefront for the big send-off.