There are so many things I can write about today. For a start, I think I just need to express my gratitude for everything that happened over the past two weekends.

At the Great run of Punjab, I had that fantastic first day. The other two days were much more challenging. I could not even get started on both those days. The pain (probably ITB) on the outer side of my left knee early morning and the intense pain in my lower shins the rest of the time left me wondering if I should quit.

I prayed and asked others to pray, remembering one particular verse which my Friend Joel David again unwittingly sowed into my inbox.

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Again, the context is different, but it does not change the fact that God is the God of endurance and encouragement. So I somehow endured and felt encouraged to continue despite the pain. And I found that I could do it and as my weary muscles warmed up, they started complaining less.

And after the dust settled, I look back and have SO much to be thankful for. The inspiring people, both runners, organizers, and volunteers was a highlight. Where people suffer together, they form deep friendships. I won’t forget all of you. Thank you for making this journey from Amritsar to Chandigarh something meaningful.

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But I could not relax after this, because our yearly Freedom Ultra Run (third edition) was next up. My shins are still recovering so I decided to cycle this time. My son went along again and this time my daughter also cycled. We organized the route (from Chandigarh to Patiala this year), the medals and certificates, the food, the cycle support, coming back from Patiala, the charity support and a thousand other things.

Last night as we were congratulating the runners who made it, most of them expressed their gratitude and said that it was a fabulous experience. For many of them, it was their first ultra distance. 73k it was. It is flat, but the road surface made it challenging at times.

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All registration fees went to End Incest. (Please remember to look up endincest.org. You will probably find some of the research surprising as I did.) I am so thankful for growing up in a loving home and for not being affected by this issue, but there are many who are not that lucky. Our sinful nature causes us to make the most horrific choices to hurt those the closest to us. There is so much shame surrounding this issue that it rarely gets reported. End Incest is trying to create awareness so that the truth will be known and as the Bible says: The truth will set you free.

As the year winds down and Christmas approaches, my attention will go to carol singing and helping people understand what it really is about. It is not about Santa, Christmas cake and parties. It is about a Baby born with the express purpose to give His life as punishment for our sins. Though we are desperately corrupt, He chose to love us, die for us and transform us into His image.

I hope that my injuries subsided enough so that I can start a tentative jog again tomorrow morning with our group Covalience Runners.

Time Trial will also collaborate with Daudta Punjab and Patiala runners to host a 5k  (timed), 10k (timed) and 2.5k fun run in Patiala on Christmas day.

Keep running

Stephan

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