Leadership Lessons From My First Official Half Marathon

Two years ago I did something crazy. I partnered with my pastor and a couple of friends to run a half marathon at 3 AM in the morning.

Little did I know what that experience would bring. It was a time of bonding, growth, and helping the less fortunate.

This half marathon was unofficial and untimed.

Half marathon runner high-fiving children

Photo by Ryan Hanson

Last year, I did something I believed I never could. I ran my first official full marathon. The marathon run was challenging, frustrating, and heart-wrenching.

That’s why, this year, when the opportunity presented itself to run for Team World Vision and clean water again, I begrudgingly said yes. I chose to run the Metro Health Grand Rapids Half Marathon because of clean water.

Leadership Lessons From Running A Half Marathon At 3AM

Why I Ran A Half Marathon At 3AM

Many months ago, my pastor came up with a crazy idea: Let’s run a half marathon! (For those of you who don’t know, a half marathon is 13.1 miles. That’s a long distance to go by foot.) That sounds crazy enough on its own. The next thing he said was: at 3 AM.

Wait… What? Did I just hear Pastor Ben right? He wants me to run a half marathon early in the morning? Well, he had. And I tentatively agreed.

half marathon leadership lessons

There was no firm commitment on my part. I think I said: I think I could do that.

Over the next couple of months, we did a couple of preparation runs. We started out at a 6 or 7 miler. Our last run together was 10 miles. That was two weeks before the half marathon.

I was cautious. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to accomplish the whole distance.