It's officially called Dean Karnazes Silicon Valley Marathon (DKSVM) in San Jose, CA. Dean Karnazes is no less than the Ultramarathon Man and Silicon Valley is the hub of the tech world, as you all very well know. Of course, these big names names are used to attract runners to join the race.
However, I think calling it the San Jose Marathon is a name big enough to encourage more runners to sign up. After all, its namesake is St. Joseph (San Jose in Spanish), a man known for his strength and faith. And for us runners, we could learn a thing or two about him.
Remember that St. Joseph had to lead his pregnant wife Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born. A straight line from these two points would be around 80 miles. Mary rode a donkey while Joseph walked. It is estimated that this journey back then would have taken at least 4 days.
To endure this journey, St. Joseph had to be physically fit, mentally resolute, and spiritually strong. He developed these qualities by virtue of his faithfulness to his work and prayer. He was a worker who honed his gift of carpentry through persistence and hard work. He was a man of prayer; so he was always attuned to God's beckoning.
Doesn't St. Joseph remind us all of who we are as runners? We take pride in our hard work to stay fit. We dig deep into our selves when we need it to keep on going in the midst of pain and fatigue during a run. Running has taught us a lot about life and about ourselves. St. Joseph wasn't a runner; but he lived his life like a runner - strong in mind, body, and spirit. That is perhaps, why, when God called him to make that journey to Bethlehem, St. Joseph was ready to go in a heartbeat.
On Sunday, October 31st, I will be running the San Jose Marathon (aka DKSVM). As I run, I will ponder on the life of St. Joseph. Especially how he inspires me to carry on my calling as a husband, as a father, as a worker, and as a praying runner. This race will also be specially meaningful to me because I will run it in honor of my wife who is a breast cancer survivor. In 2006, I ran the same race. My wife, who was just diagnosed with recurrence and metastases of the cancer, braved the pain and fatigue and went with me to show her support. Unfortunately, she was really too weak to leave the hotel and meet me at the finish line. I did not run this race again until this year. Currently, my wife is still on treatments and will not be able to see me again at the race. But she will be my inspiration and in my thoughts and prayer as I run this race.
I will also offer this run in prayer for a friend of ours, who is a breast cancer survivor and whose mom has dementia. Also, this run is in honor of another friend who was recently diagnosed of cervical cancer. To all my readers, join me this weekend for a run in prayer of somebody important to you. Simply go out for a run or walk this weekend and offer it in prayer. God knows what's in your heart, but he'd love to see you run to Him.