Marathon Mission runner tells her story

October 19, 2017

Dear Editor:

Twenty. 20. Twen-ty. Twentieth. This Sunday, by the grace of God, I ran my twentieth full marathon (26.2 miles), and my seventeenth Detroit Free Press

Lisa Marie-Lynn Harper

Lisa Marie-Lynn Harper

Marathon. My story is a fascinating one. I ran my first marathon (Detroit) with Scott Harper back in 1985. I came back from fall break at ORU to run it at the suggestion of my All-American husband (then boyfriend) Scott. I kind of forget that I was fifth among all the ladies in the Detroit Free Press Marathon, with a time of 3:09. (I guess I did qualify for Boston once! Lol.) Scott really paved the way and helped me cruise. Within the next 7 weeks I ran the Tulsa Half Marathon and the Dallas White Rock Marathon. Translation: Too much, too soon. I honestly never thought I’d ever run a marathon again. That was 32 years ago.

Never say never. Seventeen (17) years went by. Four awesome children born. Five miscarriages. That makes 9 Harper babies.(Can’t wait to see the other 5 Harper siblings in heaven.) In 2002 something came over me, and I ran the Detroit Marathon once again. Marathon Mission began the next year in 2003 with just me.
So many of you have run or walked with our MM Team over these fifteen years. Thank you for support! Let’s do it again.

“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” — Isaac Newton (1675)

I extend a hearty shout out to my dear husband, Pastor Scott Harper, all of my children (including their awesome mates), the six remarkable communities and churches we have served (including now Clare Assembly of God), and my dear Clare community. Physical Therapist, Mike Swinger (Leelanau Physical Therapy) has also been a tremendous help.

My story reminds me of the Tortoise and the Hare. I used to be a Hare, and now I’m a Tortoise!! Translation: I wasn’t burning any rubber on Sunday morning in the Detroit Free Press Marathon. Perhaps you can relate to this in your own life. Either literally or symbolically.

Nevertheless, every step and every breath is a gift from God. Wouldn’t you agree? He gives us the strength to continue the course, with its highs and lows, and eventually cross our finish line.

“Let us run with perseverance, the race marked out for us.”  Hebrews 12:1

Blessed to be a blessing,
Lisa Marie-Lynn Harper

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