Tag Archives: Running

My First Half-Marathon

Three years ago I was 45-lbs heavier, making climbing any hill arduous. You can’t imagine the emotion of finishing your first half-marathon. I’ve definitely got the bug now. Next race is next year’s Tough Mudder.



PLACE   NO. NAME                    SEX AGE    TIME   PACE   DIV   CITY, ST
=====  ==== =====================   === ===  ======= =====  =====  ======================
    1    87 KAY WAXLER              F   37  1:58:18  9:02  F3539  PHOENIX, AZ         
    2   114 SHARI KEARNS            F   39  1:59:53  9:09  F3539  , AZ                
    3    13 TINA BUNCH              F   36  2:26:50 11:12  F3539  GLENDALE, AZ        
    4   107 GAYLE ROBSON            F   36  2:28:32 11:20  F3539  , AZ                
    5    37 NIKOLE HAHN             F   38  2:29:56 11:27  F3539  CHINO VALLEY, AZ    
    6    34 JOANNE GIERAK           F   35  2:46:26 12:42  F3539  GILBERT, AZ         

On other news, remember that this is the last Sunday post. Starting Friday, September 28, I will only be posting Monday through Friday as I am introducing a new blog that will post Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays called, Whine and Cheese Girl. For you foodies, you’ll rejoice as it will have recipes.

Have a blessed Sunday!


Book Review: Running For My Life

Running for My Life by Lopez Lomong (with Mark Tabb) first caught my attention when I saw the commercial advertising the Olympics. “What an amazing hint of a story!”, I remember saying. I wanted to learn more about him. Was he a Christian?

Lopez Lomong was kidnapped at six years old by rebel fighters in South Sudan while attending church with his family. He inferred that between the South Sudan government and the rebels, the line between good guys and bad guys were barely discernable. In one chapter, Lopez recalls a conversation he had with some boys while they were imprisoned. The boys questioned amongst themselves if these were the rebels, why were they being kidnapped? Weren’t they on their side?

Three “angels,” boys older than Lopez from his village protected him and one night escaped with him. They ran through the desert of Africa for three days with bloody feet all the way to the border. What was amazing was how God provided water and food along the way, and not from any human source, but from the abundance growing in the wilds. They ran all the way to Kenya where Kenyan soldiers picked them up and brought them to a Kenyan refugee camp.

There, the boys had a little better care, but not by much. While United Nations workers ate well, the refugees in the camp were on food rations. Larger boys would troll the tents, bullying other boys to give them their food rations so the older boys could sell them outside the camp. Lopez and the boys with him in his tent cleverly hid their food. The biggest excitement at their camp was soccer and garbage day.

Garbage day came when the squeak-squeak of the wheel borrow would come, dumping the U.N. garbage into a hole. A lot of boys would dive into the melee looking for half-eaten food to salvage for their tent. I liked what Lopez said about this:

“We only ate one meal a day, but for me, coming into the camp at the age of six, I accepted this as normal. I never thought that life was unfair because I had to eat garbage. Instead, I looked at the scraps of food from the dump as a blessing. Not all the boys in the camp could do this. I knew some who chose to feel sorry for themselves, who complained constantly about their lot in life. What is the point of such complaining? After all the whining and complaining is over, you still live in a refugee camp. All the complaining in the world will not make your life any better. Instead, you must choose to make the best of whatever the situation in which you find yourself, even in a place like Kakuma.” (Page 39)

There was such poverty in Africa. Lopez recounted humorous memories of when he arrived in America for the first time. He said he used to think white people were white because of the cold climate in which they lived. Lopez also did not know how to turn a light off or on. He said yes to everything because he didn’t want to offend his new parents. Lopez thought he didn’t deserve the kindness and love his foster parents gave in America. America was such a new experience for him.

But what really got me was how proud he was of our country. His team mates on the Olympian Team voted for him to be the flag bearer in the Beijing Olympics. He met President Bush and First Lady, Laura. He was proud of his country and in many ways you could liken him to the Olympian, Jesse Owens who in the 1936 Olympic games was sent to compete against Germany. Lopez went against China who supported the bad guys in South Sudan like Germany supported the antics of Hitler.

For anyone who is losing a house to foreclosure, bemoaning that they can’t pay their bills, or can’t own the television their neighbor was able to buy, they should read this book. This is the story of a South Sudan Lost Boy who came to America and wanted to work hard. He didn’t take advantage of her or burn her flag or demand special treatment. Lopez Lomong models what America should be and how hard work, love, and determination can help make any dream a reality. After reading this book, I believe God wanted Lopez to tell his story. His story has God’s fingerprints all over it. I gave it five stars.

All proceeds from Running For My Life are going to the Lomong Foundation’s “4 South Sudan.” Together Lopez and World Vision are working to bring the needs of South Sudan to fruition.
I review for BookSneeze®

My First Half-Marathon: Tour De PeeVee (Will You Pledge?)

Why does it feel like a cliche to lose a bunch of weight and then want to run a marathon?

On Saturday, September 22, I will be running my first half-marathon for the Tour De PeeVee. If I raise $150 in pledges before the race, they will waive my fee. That will help mightily in the financial department as well as help the Boys and Girls Club here. Please consider donating by emailing me a pledge at nikolehahn@thehahnhuntinglodge.com.

Please send a check before mid-September to:

Nikole Hahn, P.O. Box 3175, Chino Valley, AZ 86323


Guest Blog: Things That Can’t Be Taken Away

Sunset Over Mingus Mountain

On Saturday, October 2, 2010, I ran 50 miles (24 more than I had ever run before). The race is called “Man Against Horse,” (I think the horse won:)) At the end of the race I received a belt buckle as my “trophy” for completing the race. But that is not the thing that can’t be taken away.

The race begins at the base of Mingus Mountain and winds through river beds, up long steep dirt trails, and then finally back down again. Between miles 29 and 32 there is a very steep and rocky trail ascending perhaps 2000 feet. I was doing fine through 29 miles, but then at about mile 30, in the middle of this climb, I experienced severe cramping in my legs. At first, my calves cramped and then my shins. Normally, I can stretch and keep moving, but these were cramps unlike any I have ever had! My legs seized up, and I struggled to release the cramps. It worked once or twice, but then a few steps later I was unable to free myself from them. I lay on the dirt trail calling out to God for help, for no amount of energy I had would do. I writhed in pain as my calves contorted my feet.

As I lay on the narrow path, calling out to God, I realized my race was over. Now, how could I get up the two miles to the next aid station or down to the previous one? Humanly speaking, I couldn’t.

I finally freed the cramps enough to relax in the dirt, praying for a solution. Other runners would pass me by and give me sympathetic looks, and offer to tell the people at the top that a man was down. I called my wife and told her the problem…she had been praying all day.

I don’t know how it happened, but after laying there for 30 minutes, I knew I had to get up. I heard “God’s still small voice” say, you are going to finish this race. Crazy! I couldn’t even move! I got up, and stepped with caution; praise God. I took another step, then another, then another. I was on my way, hoping to make it to the top in order to catch a ride to base camp.

At the top, the aid workers asked if I wanted to continue…”how far until the next aid station,” I asked. “Six miles,” was their response. I think I will try. At mile 38, the same question, with my response, “I think I will try.”

I crossed the finish line with 10 minutes to spare (they have a 12 hour cut-off). It was truly a miracle to me, because I know where I was physically at mile 30!

So, what can’t be taken away, you ask? That God met me in my pain and hopelessness and renewed my strength. He spoke comfort and grace, and I know that it wasn’t anything that I could have done without Him. Every step toward the finish line became a special gift for which I returned praise! God had met me personally, again, and that can’t be taken away!

How has God met you in ways that are impossible to describe? Give Him praise for the meeting, and hold it close to your heart, and be sure to share it with others…God might just use it to encourage them!

Pastor Dave (http://fbcprescottpastors.blogspot.com)