Posts Tagged running


The Race Before Us and Coach Dan invite you to join us tomorrow – Thanksgiving Day – for our Thanksgiving Day Pipeline Run. This is the 3rd year of this event and it continues to grow. This is a fun 10k walk/run event that starts / ends in the parking lot across from Browns Island. We run along the edge of Browns Island, cross the Pipes that run next to the island, run along the flood wall, cross the 14th Street Bridge, back across the flood wall to the Mayo Ruins, climb the ruins (or you can go around), and continue through the woods to Belle Island, then cross the footbridge back to Tredgar where we start. There are plenty of coaches guiding you along the course so you will not get lost. If you have not done this run before, I encourage you to do so since it is a unique way to see parts of Richmond that most people never see.

Here is more information on this run:

Meet: Parking lot across from Browns Island, on Tredegar Street next to the Civil War Museum.

When: Thanksgiving Day, November 27, at 7:00am

Distance: 5 mile loop or 6 miles (depending on if you decide to run around Belle Island)

Cost: Free, but please consider bringing a non-perishable food item, which will be collected and given to the food pantry at Gayton Baptist for distribution to the needy.

Registration: Not needed – just show up. There are no race bids, t-shirts, or anything fancy for this walk / run. You are simply joining a group of runners/walkers in Richmond to begin your celebration of Thanksgiving….plus this allows us to eat a little more on Thanksgiving day without the guilt!

Below are photographs from last year’s run.  See you tomorrow!

Coach Dan and Bruce

Coach Dan and Bruce

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TRBU Cover


Until the end of May my publisher is offering the audio version of The Race Before Us: A Journey of Running & Faith for free.  If you’d like a copy, just follow the link below at ChristianAudio.  Please share this with anyone else who you think might be interested.



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Walk – Don’t Run

This past weekend was Richmond’s Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K – probably the biggest running (and walking) day for the community.  It holds a special place in my heart for a number of reasons – its a great event for Richmond, I help coach a training team, it has a great cause (Massey Cancer Center), I have run it with our daughter (including my 10K PR), I have walked it with Cheryl, I have run it with Carl – and two years ago, I ran it with Caitlin (my niece), when it was her first 10K.  Caitlin went on to adopt running as a critical part of her lifestyle and to train seriously for and complete other races. Last year I ran with her during her first 1/2 marathon and in November, she completed her first marathon at the Richmond Marathon.  In the process she adopted healthy eating (she’s a paleo fan) and exercise plans and lost over 70 pounds.  We previously featured blog posts about Caitlin at the 1/2 marathon and after her marathon run.


The Monument Avenue race is very special to me also because it was the “first” race I trained for and completed in my quest to reverse a number of years of neglecting my health.  For anyone who might possibly missed it here – the story of my physical and spiritual journeys is captured in The Race before Us:  A Journey of Running and Faith.

But this past weekend, I did not run in the Monument Avenue 10K.  Not because of the rain.  I walked the 10K.  At the beginning of the year, as an “equal opportunity uncle,” I encouraged Caitlin’s sister, Laura, to walk the Monument Avenue 10K with me.  Laura completed a 10-week plan that I shared with her.  So Cheryl and I completed the 6.2 mile loop on the cobblestones on Monument Avenue with Laura on Saturday.  We had a great time.  I look forward to Laura’s next race and soon, her own 1/2 marathon.


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An Inspiration

When you stand at the starting line, you join the club. When you stand at the starting line, you earn your membership. Millions dream of being where you are. You are no longer a dreamer. You are a doer.

Thousands more started a training program but never finished. They started with the same enthusiasm (or more than) you had. They started with more or less the same physical gifts or disadvantages that you did. They had no more and no less reason to be successful than you.

But somewhere along the way, they lost that enthusiasm. Somewhere on the road or on the track or treadmill, they decided that the rewards just weren’t worth the effort. They decided that they could live without finding their limits, without challenging their expectations of themselves, and without taking a hard look at their image of themselves.

You didn’t. If you’re standing at the starting line, you’ve not only accepted the challenge, but you’ve beaten back the demons. You’ve conquered your imagination and self-imposed limitations. You’ve gone farther, gotten stronger, and gotten tougher than you ever imagined.”

-John Bingham, “The Penguin”

John Bingham is an American marathon runner and author, nicknamed “The Penguin”, who has achieved widespread recognition for promoting the walking of long-distance race courses to the general public.




For all of you that will lace it up on Saturday at the Monument Avenue 10K and especially for all of you that participated in the YMCA 10K Training Team — you are an inspiration.  Have a great run or walk.

And a final note — a special thanks to Coach Dan who served as Head Coach for the entire 10K Training Program.

Coach Dan Blankenship

Coach Dan Blankenship



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“Establishing Fraud – Proving the Resurrection”


“An Evening with LeClairRyan’s Bruce Matson”

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The Christian Law Fellowship at the University of Richmond Law School is hosting a talk by Bruce Matson on “Establishing Fraud – Proving the Resurrection.”

From the Christian Law Fellowship:  Bruce Matson, Partner & Chief Legal Officer at LeClairRyan, adjunct law professor at UR, and author of The Race Before Us, will join us to discuss his journey at mid-career to find life in running and the Christian faith. His talk is titled “Establishing Fraud – Proving the Resurrection” and is designed to argue for Christianity from a lawyer’s perspective as well as share his own personal story. It is sure to be a great evening of learning and reflection.

For more time, place and other details click here.


TRBU Cover


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Faith, Running & Freedom

Editor’s Note:  The Race Before Us, as an organization, seeks to promote both running as a means to physical health, if not renewal and the truth of Christianity as a means to spiritual wellness, if not renewal.  We believe there is a connection between our running and our faith, so we particularly like to feature messages that combine both of these passions.  Today we get to do just that by featuring a guest columnist.

The message below is from a new friend I’ve met through my book (The Race Before Us).  Tom is a Christian who took up running in many ways similar to me – in fact, we “met” when he contacted me to say that he thought he was reading his own story when he read The Race Before Us.

Tom is also “known” as – 278 to Boston”.  Please click here to read more about Tom’s story and follow him as he talks about running and faith and works his way to the Boston Marathon – it’s an inspiring story.  And, please enjoy Tom’s wonderful thoughts below.


It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.    Galatians 5:1

I love running.

Okay, when I am out there and it is really cold or really hot or I just don’t feel good, running can be a chore.

What I love most about running is the freedom that it gives me.  An unexpected consequence of being a runner.

One Saturday a while back, I had a rough day.  In fact it was a difficult week overall, it just came to a head on a Saturday.  I needed to get away.  A couple of years ago that would have entailed driving to Wal-Mart and surrounding stores and walking through the isles of stuff.  Not this time.  Instead, I walked.  In fact I turned off my phone and walked for hours.  I walked on a trail I have run before, but never actually just took the time to look at the surroundings.  It was really cool.  Waterfalls, beaver dams and quietness.

I realized that day that because of my running I could walk as far as I wanted and not worry about how to make it home.  I was able to just go and be free.  It was awesome.

The other time this “consequence of running” occurred to me was while shut in at work for two days because of snow.  I was able to spend hours outside helping people get their cars going.  I walked miles to the pharmacy to pick up meds for a coworker (and buy toothbrushes).  I never once thought, “can I make it back?”  I had freedom.  Who needs a car!

If you are debating whether you should start running or you are a runner and are trying to encourage others to run, remember what I learned.  There is a lot of freedom in life once the chains of poor physical fitness are removed.  Once you run 26.2 miles, it dawns on you that if needed, you can walk the 23 miles home in an emergency.

In many ways, Christ has done the same in my spiritual life.  The verse above talks about the freedom Christ gives.  It seems that many times we need a “revelation” of that freedom, or as Paul says, we can become subject again to the “yoke of slavery”.  It is a very hard thing to see the benefits and freedom we  have as a runner or as a Christian – that is until we experience it first hand.  I never understood fully the benefits or consequences of running until after I became a runner.  I also never understood the blessings and benefits of being a Christian until Christ set me free from the law of sin and death.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. Rom 8:2

Freedom.  A basic instinct.  One that I am glad I received almost 2 years ago when I started running and 30 years ago when my life was changed by the Power of God through Christ.  My goal in both areas is to never be subjected to slavery again.

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Five Mile Journey in 8 Weeks – Week 8


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You are a Stallion!

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

Week  8

Be sure to read weeks 1 -7


This is our big week.  For the past 7 weeks, you have been embarking on a journey to walk or run 5 miles.   This is the week.  Whether you are running in a race or running on your own the principles this week still apply.  Mentally you should try to relax this week and work up to your big event.  Depending on the training program and the distance you are walking or running, we will slow down the intensity this week to conserve our strength, allow our muscles to recover so that we are much stronger on race day.  This is called “tapering”.   That does not mean we become couch potatoes this week, it simply means we are cutting back on the distance and intensity.  I still want you to continue with the core exercises since these are very important as you build up your strength around the core muscles.

 Day 1

  • Walker – Walk for 2 miles
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 2 miles alternating between running and walking
  • Jogger – Run easy for 2 miles

Day 2

  • All – Core Exercises
    • 12 push-ups and 12 set-ups.  Do 3 times.
    • Leg lifts (lay on back and lift both legs 6” off the ground), hold for count of 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Planks – Hold plank exercise for 30 -60 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Side Planks –  hold for 15 – 30 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.

Day 3

  • Walker – Walk for 2 miles
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 2 miles alternating between running and walking, easy
  • Jogger – Run easy for 2 miles, easy

Day 4

  • All – Core Exercises
    • 12 push-ups and 12 set-ups.  Do 3 times, each.
    • Leg lifts (lay on back and lift both legs 6” off the ground), hold for count of 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Planks – Hold plank exercise for 30 -60 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Side Planks – hold for 15 – 30 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.

Day 5



Day 6 – RACE DAY

  • Treat this walk / run like any training run.  If you are running in a race, I hope the crowds are large at the end to motivate you.   If you are running on your own, imagine walking or running in a race, your race.   The Race Before Us, your journey is just beginning.

Day 7

  • REST DAY – CONGRATS for completing the race.


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