Editor’s note: I first wrote about Kelly Nash a couple of weeks ago on my blog. This is a longer (perhaps better thought-out) version that appeared in the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle.
Some people naturally push the limits. Others, like my friend Kelly Nash, shove them.
She’s run 5Ks and 10Ks, marathons and ultras. But she wanted something more: She wanted to run for 24 hours and raise $1,500 for the Heritage Christian Legacy Mile & 5K, an event that supports people with developmental disabilities.
So, more than a dozen of us – friends, family and co-workers – gathered to pray and cheer as she stepped on the treadmill the morning of that long run. We took pictures, sang about friendship and freedom and wondered silently what was limiting us, how we should be challenging ourselves.
Most of my decisions seem to fall back on what it will cost me. Do I really have the time? Is it worth the effort? But those aren’t the questions that define Nash.
What if I just keep putting one foot in front of the other?
As part of her fundraiser, Nash rented out the treadmill next to her in 30-minute increments. One man, who was training for an upcoming half marathon, ran 13.1 miles with Nash.
“You’ll have to train for a full marathon now,” she said, still running. Still encouraging.
What if I really can go farther?
All of the 30-minute slots were full. They were taken by other runners; a friend of her dear, late father; her husband; her mother; her daughter’s fifth-grade teacher.
So, she was never alone. Not when her eyes got heavy with sleep. Not when her body struggled to cool itself. Not when her fundraising edged closer to $3,000. And certainly not when she grew close to the 100-mile mark and to the finish.
Can I say I’ve run the good race?
More than 200 people, many of them still sweating from their own morning run, chanted Nash’s name and counted down the seconds. When she threw her fist up in the air, the crowd went wild. The treadmill stopped at 106.49 miles. Four marathons in 24 hours.
I like to think she got her questions answered.
Join us: We’ll be chatting live with James Rubart, the author of Rooms, at 7 p.m. today. Look for us at the Simply Faithful page on Facebook. If you can’t make it at that time, send me your questions. I’ll ask Rubart for you.