Transformation Tuesday

We are so thankful to get to work with Chapelstreet church in Geneva, IL, and watch them partner with local ministries! Check out the article below to see what they have been up to.

“Chapelstreet Church makes impact locally in partnership with local ministries! For the second year in a row we have partnered with Up & Running Again and Wayside Cross & Lifespring Ministries. There are too many pictures to showcase, but let me tell you a bit about the history and impact that was made this past Sunday when five Wayside residents, two Lifespring residents, and a host of Chapelstreeter volunteer coaches crossed the finish line!

For the past 12 weeks we have been driving to Aurora to run each morning at 5:45 (Lifespring) and 6:00 (Wayside) to run four days a week in preparation for the Fox Valley Half marathon. Each run is one that includes fantastic discussion, encouragement, and milestones. We start with run five minutes and walk five minutes for just 30 minutes total. We conclude our training with a ten mile run two weeks prior to Sundays race of 13.1 miles.

During the 12 weeks if runners reach various milestone of training we purchase them running shoes and when they hit 30 workouts we pay for their race entry. Throughout the 12 weeks there are nearly 20 that show up at least once and our seven finished with excellence. On Saturday we celebrated each athlete with a banquet (above picture) where we ‘carb load’ and share with one another and our family and loved ones before we get a great night sleep.

Of the 48 training runs only one was in the RAIN. However, on race day we set personal bests on all accounts despite the RAIN! Above we are celebrating with Glenn who was our final runner. Below is a picture before our Cadre of Ladies left the overhang for their run in the rain. History was set because for the very first time a Up & Running Again participant placed 2nd in his age division. Tom Robertson from Chapelstreet came in 3rd overall but Wayside Tom (41st overall) was not far behind with a 1:37 and placed 2nd with Coach Steve placing third in the same age division. Misha and Cory broke the two hour barrier and Jennifer & Larissa ran faster than they ever dreamed of…finishing with huge hugs from their daughter’s who saw them FINISH what they began three months ago!

Doing HARD things and persevering was a theme for each of our runners and watching each finish is one of my greatest JOYS each September. The relationships formed over 12 weeks are both deep and rich. We’ll continue to support our runners, attend graduations, and perhaps run again. This year Larissa (on the right above) ran 15 minutes faster than 2022. Next year maybe one of this years finishers replaces me as the point leader and champions the 48 runs that it takes to prepare for 13.1 miles.

Relationships is what drives IMPACT!

Jennifer above heard about Up & Running Again when I ‘pitched’ the idea to all Lifespring and Wayside guests. She had already begun a hard restart on her health and lost many pounds, but running was a bit outside of her comfort zone and she had early morning work commitments. We moved the start time up to 5:45 am and she only missed 4 runs all summer/fall. She learned that she can reach goals, run half marathons, grow closer to Jesus, and meet wonderful people along the way who will relentlessly support & encourage her.”