Updated: Nov 7, 2021
I will never forget being asked "but you're not really a runner, are you?". It was after I had told somebody that I was going to be running my first marathon. There question was actually super reasonable- for all realistic purposes, I was NOT a runner. I had run a little in high school, I actually met Aaron when I was running (that's a whole 'other story!), and had run 2-3 miles every now and then.
But I had heard about Ridge Runners at church on Sunday- they were going to become Love Runs and were looking for people willing to run and fundraise for those caught in human trafficking in the local Detroit area. I wasn't really a runner, and I had no great reason to become one, but from the first time I heard about Love Runs I knew that I was supposed to join and that this group was going to be an influential part of my story.
That first year I did it- barely- but I did it. I ended up in a boot with a stress reaction and couldn't run leading up to the marathon, but I finished all 26.2 miles that year, each and every painful mile. I was hooked. I realized that running was good for my mental health. I realized I had made amazing friends. And most importantly, I realized that running to raise money for those in human trafficking was extremely motivating. This cause became my running "why".
I followed up that first season with 5 more seasons of raising money for Love Runs. I completed 2 more marathons and 2 half marathons. My family ran, Aaron started volunteering with All Worthy of Love, and as a family, we've raised more than $35,000 over the years.
This year I wasn't sure what I was going to do- I had a friend ask me to complete a destination marathon with her, and we were busy with Haven Homes of Detroit. I was sad to not be doing much with Love Runs, but I felt ok about it. Then the border to the country we were going didn't open. The race was cancelled. And I was able to start running with Love Runs again! The day we put an offer on our first Haven Homes (we're still waiting to see if it going to work out), I stopped by Cobo and picked up my marathon packet. The same weekend we met this major milestone with Haven Homes, I got to run another 26.2 miles with Love Runs. It was SO perfect and so fitting. These two dreams that have been separate but so intertwined collided this past weekend.
The most unforgettable moment of the race was running with so many of the OG Love Runs people this weekend! People I've literally probably run 1000 miles over the years. And at
mile 16.5 we ran 1 block from the house we're hoping to buy. It was surreal and seemed like God smiling. It was perfect to see how these two passions have become one. I'm forever grateful for the impact Love Runs has had on our family. For my love of running, for our passion for those in human trafficking, for the desire and prompting to start Haven Homes of Detroit. We can't wait to see how this journey continues to unfold.
And- just because- here are a few of my favorite Love Runs pictures from over the years!