The 2012 Race is Run...
The following paragraphs are from previous editions of the Masons in Motion race.
Several brothers raced in 2012, without a formal Masons in Motion effort.
In 2011, our effort was much more extensive. That year, each of our runners crossed the finish line in early- or mid-pack, all nine. Their times are listed below. Over 50 volunteers worked from 6AM until 1PM at our block-long water table near Marshall Avenue and West River Road. SWC organizers secured this excellent opportunity to publicize Freemasonry at no cost to our lodge, allowing us to hoist a beautiful Churchill Lodge banner in view of the entire crowd, just past mile number 20. Well, it was visible until about 1PM, when a woefully errant biker with something else on his mind, drove himself into it. We're quite certain his pratfall had nothing to do with anti-Masonic views.
Here are the Finishers, with links to their time splits:
WB Peter Hulbert, PM Mpls Lodge #19, Finisher, 4:00:21
Mr. Dan Pedersen, Sean's cousin-in-law, Finisher, 4:57:36
MWB Andrew Rice, WM SWC Lodge #351, Finisher, 5:02:23
WB Daniel Akins, SW SWC Lodge #351, Finisher, 5:02:23
Bro. Chris Taylor, SWC Lodge #351, Finisher, 5:09:48
WB R. Sean Gardiner, WM Dakota Lodge #7, Finisher, 5:16:00
Ms. Krista Benninger, Lake Harriet Chapter, OES #202, Finisher, 5:20:53
Ms. Leslie Collins, of Colorado, and friend of Krista, Finisher, 5:20:53
WB Stoffel Reitsma, PM Sherburne Lodge #95, Finisher, 5:22:00
A marathon is a race against oneself. Commemorating the efforts of an Athenian soldier, who was sent to alert the anxious populace of Greece's great victory over the Persians in the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC, he ran the distance, delivered his message, and died from the effort and his wounds. Immortalized by this heroic deed, today, millions run a similar 26.2 mile course every year. They may compare times, and certainly those elite runners who travel from across the globe to compete will struggle mightily against one another.
Yet runners run alone.
Experienced marathoners say that such a competition is far more a matter of mind than 'just' developing a finely tuned body. A five mile or 10K run is an entry point. Fairly easy, it can be therapeutic. By the half-marathon mark, at 13.1 miles, the body becomes a raging machine, burning every bit of energy it can find. Racers are thankful for a gulp water, or better yet, of electrolyte-rich Gatorade or Poweraide, or an energy bar. But the body was not designed to eat and run, literally, as it is not uncommon for a runner to stop in mid-race with a gasp, vomit a too-cold drink of water, and without an errant thought, again place one foot ahead of the other and press on. What form of endurance is it, which drives a man or woman to cling so desperately to such an effort?
Marine General "Lew" Puller famously said, "Pain is weakness leaving the body." Indeed, a marathoner knows this.
In preparation to running a marathon, a runner will achieve a series of 'long runs,' each designed to probe the limits of what he might do. By the 18th or 20th mile, runners will hit The Wall, which they swear feels like a physical barrier. At this stage, the body has exhausted all its reserves of glycogen, derived from hoarded carbohydrates, and has moved to a metabolic level where nothing but the body's own remaining fat stores will feed it. This is an immense change, and many novice runners cannot overcome it. But where the Will perseveres against The Wall, a marathoner paces on. The trial long run of 20 miles is designed so a new marathoner would meet this barrier, to know his adversary. The Marathon itself allows them to crush it, to pass it by, and to set foot after foot on unmapped lands.
Such a race is never, never, never easy. For some on our team, this is a first time, and becomes for them an amazing revelation of the potential inherent to each of us. Others among our team have previously run this grueling 26.2 mile course, or another marathon, or one even longer, if not a more beautiful race, and so carry that memory with them forever. Indeed, one of our team is a Ragnar relay runner and two are Ironmen. But today, these nine men and women are equally - and proudly - Finishers in today's great race.
We are proud of you all.
Hats off to Bro. Robert S. Davis, assisted by Wor. David E. Johnson, who did a great job organizing the event.
Here's a map for those who wish to review the race course. All final times were verified by GPS tracking.
Thanks to all the volunteers who helped the night before the race at the pre-race spaghetti feed at Lake Harriet Lodge. Many runners appreciate carbo loading before a race, and at least 25 of us enjoyed a wonderful meal together.
Here's the 2011 water table volunteer instructions page.
This has been a big effort by some remarkable volunteers. Some key persons were sidelined by injury during training, including race organizer Bob S. Davis, a long-time runner, and even our Grand Master Tom Hendrickson who was unable to run due to cartilege damage he suffered eight weeks ago. Nevertheless, these brothers cheered all the runners throughout the day, from the sidelines at mile #20.6, and at the Finish. Tom and Bob, you are in our thoughts and prayers.