Fit Friday: Running Miles for Melana

This past Saturday many of my friends ran in the Akron, Ohio Marathon for a remarkable cause. On the Women Living Well home page you will find the story of sweet 9 year old Melana who is battling cancer. Diana (a friend of Melana and a friend of mine – pictured above after the race with Melana) began to dream – and her dream grew big. She started a blog and recruited everyone she knew to come and join her for this marathon. On race day 42 men and women showed up to do a 4 person relay, 16 ran the 1/2 marathon and 11 ran the entire 26 miles!!! And there were approximately 150 people who made pledges towards Melana’s fund. Praise the Lord!

Here is Diana’s story in her own words:
Early this summer Mike and I had an idea to form a team of runners who would take part in the Akron Road Runner in order to support my friend’s 9 year old daughter Melana who was diagnosed with a very serious brain cancer in Jan. of this year. We quickly came up with the name MILES FOR MELANA, and wanted to reach 500 committed miles by the end of August. To our surprise we reached well over 700 in no time!
Our goals were to show love and encouragement by raising funds to help her family with mounting medical expenses, to get as many people involved and praying for Melana and her family, and to motivate others to get fit and give running a try!
At first we planned to run the 1/2 Marathon but when the race was about a month off we decided to run the full 26.2! It was a great experience in so many ways!
I’ll never forget standing down town in the dark before the gun went off looking up at “Old Glory” and hearing our National Anthem! Then the prayer that was said asking for the Lord’s blessing over the run and giving our Creator God due credit for being “in charge” of the weather we would experience! It was very moving! Then we were off!

There’s something a bit funny about a sea of bobbing heads all around you for blocks and blocks! Despite the dreadful forecast, the weather was perfect! The entire time I only felt a nice sprinkle for a few moments here and there! The crowds are awesome for the Road Runner too! Bands, choir groups, crazy outfits to make you laugh along the way! It definitely is a rough course though!

(Pictured above in the red shirt – Pastor Steve Marshall on the home stretch) Mike and I ran “Heart Rate Hill” by Stan Hewett twice in training, but there’s something so different about that hill when it comes at mile 22! Each of our 69 runners finished their race! Then after leaping across the finish line and hearing Joyce (Melana’s Grandma) yelling my name and giving her a high five through the netting and with tears in my eyes, the rain came! We are so proud of all our runners! Kevin Somerville ran the 1/2 and came in 3rd overall with a time of 1 hour and 14 minutes! Many others met their personal goals set for that day, and many more have said they are “hooked” and are already running other races this weekend! It was such a blessing to be part of a team (those who ran and those who gave) of so many people who for the most part have never even met Melana! This was a true representation of love in action! If anyone would like to make a donation to MILES FOR MELANA, there’s still time! There’s an account set up at US Bank and it will be open until October 10, 2009. You can make a deposit at any local branch!
Thank you Diana for sharing your story. And to all the runners – thank you for your sacrifice and hard work in training – you are truly an inspiration! I pray that if any of my readers are a runner, you would consider running for a cause and spread the love of Jesus. They will know we are Christians by our love.
Walk with the King!


  1. Hi Courtney!
    What a great cause… because I have a special needs son, my heart is especially tender to any child with an illness.

    May God bless your friend's child and the efforts to support her and the entire family.

    Your blog is looking so great … Your Good Morning Girls is great.

  2. Inspiring story. Mister Linky is up and ready for this week's Crock Pot Wednesday. Thanks so much for participating last week. I hope to see you again this week. Thanks a bunch. Debbie.

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