better late than never…
When I think back to what my relay segment meant to me, it’s hard to put into words. It was easily the greatest and most painful experience of my life. Running 132 miles in 5 days has made me truly realize ANYTHING is possible. I am so blessed and incredibly grateful for the MS Western PA Chapter, my family, my boyfriend, my friends, and my random donators out there. Having everyone’s support was a game changer out there for me, and not to mention the hotels that MS Western PA Society Chapter got donated for me and my family was God sent. Every step I took hurt, I pushed my body like never before, I completed my first marathon ever and then followed it with four more…but it was all worth it.
This event wasn’t about me or the pain I was in, it was for my mom and every single person affected by MS. It was about our fight against this terrible disease. God blessed me with so many loving people who encouraged and believed in me. Just check my facebook and you will see how amazing people truly are. I look back and can’t help but smile because God was with me every step of the way. I knew he was going to provide me with the tools and support I would need, but I did not know to what extent. Living and breathing it was an experience I will never ever forget. Every time I started to hurt and want to stop I would say a prayer to God and ask him for some sort of sign he was with me and that I could do this. When that would happen I would look down and find a quarter, and I knew that his way of donating to me and keeping me going. I will never forget day 3, I ran 16 miles in the beginning of the day and was really feeling the hurt. We decided I would finish my last 10.1 in the early evening. As I was lacing my shoes up to go back out, I thought of how much I didn’t want to go back out. I said a prayer asking him to get me through those miles. Within my first 2 miles I saw a sign on the road that said “MISSION POSSIBLE”. I killed those remaining miles that day. Day 5 was…unforgettable. I had to run 29 miles to make up for the previous day (I only ran 24). I was in pain,, the hills were brutal and only getting worse…I was ready to be done. My start was slow, my mile times were getting worse, and time was not on my side. A storm was going to roll in in the early evening. But above all of that I had so many people sending me texts letting me know how proud they were of me, or how I would finish and they were thinking of me. It was an overwhelming amount of support I never expected. I won’t go into details about what happened that day on the hills of PA, but it’s essential to the story that you know at one point I quit. I stopped running and had no intentions of finishing. Things got heated, feelings were hurt, my shoes came off…and I still had 18 miles to go. But a 30 minute break changed everything. Tears were shed, apologies were made, knees were iced and God gave me a break, letting rain pour down to cool things off. I ran those last 18 miles to Clearfield, PA and completed on time. In fact, as soon as I crossed that finish line…the thunder rolled and the rain and lightening soon followed. That day is when I realized anything is possible and showed just how strong and how much of a fighter I really am.
I will never forget being apart of MS Run the US relay team 2013. It changed my life and it changed other peoples lives as well. I am thankful for my sister, and her courage to follow her dreams. I am thankful for my teammates, and their fight and urge to do something greater than ourselves. I am thankful for my family, and their continuous love and support. I am thankful for my boyfriend, and his encouragement in any en-devour I do. I want people to know MS Run the US is more than just running a couple hundred miles. It’s like the wind…something you just have to feel.
- by Dawn Kumlien
- posted at 9:15 PM
- September 30, 2013