I wasn’t surprised to learn recently that with McKinzie, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. McKinzie’s mother, Rita Crews, is also a devout Christian with a strong faith. She also has a calming presence and a can-do attitude. Rita Crews, at the age of 61, finished her first marathon and has joined her daughter in the ranks of the 1% of the American population who have run a marathon!
McKinzie says, “My Mom is a true example of attitude, faith and perseverance. Back in 2009, when she first mentioned wanting to run a full marathon, I told her not to do it because I didn’t want her to overdo it and injure herself. Yet here she is, hundreds of training miles later, proving she can do it! My Mom has been at so many games and recitals to cheer for others, I could not have been more proud watching and cheering as she ran her first marathon.”
Growing up Mrs. Crews consider herself a, “wannabe athlete.” When she was in school, sports were considered to be for the boys. She did some sports in PE and as a family they would play baseball on the street but she didn’t participate in the organized sports we know and enjoy in schools today. She didn’t run a race until she was 50 years-old.
The idea to run a marathon came to Mrs. Crews while she was reading the Bible. The passage from I Corinthians 6:19 & 20 inspired Mrs. Crews to start taking care of her body. I Corinthians says, “19-“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20-For you have been bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body.”
She had also read a study that said regular runners (10 or more miles per week) have a 30% reduction in all-cause mortality and a 49% lower risk in death from heart disease. When Matthew ran his first marathon and Mrs. Crews was cheering for him on the sidelines she saw a woman about her age cross the finish line. All of these together got Mrs. Crews out on the road running towards the goal of a marathon. When she does her longer distance runs Mrs. Crews says she prefers to be driven away and dropped off so she has to run to get home.
“I press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
1-“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
2-Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.””
Mrs. Crews has inspired us all by believe in herself and working to accomplish her goal of running a marathon. Mrs. Crews proves that anything is possible when you believe in yourself. Congratulations Mrs. Crews on your very first marathon and good luck finishing your next goal, 50 feats in 50 States! We are cheering for you!
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO SOMEONE YOUR AGE WHO WANTS TO START RUNNING, BUT DOES NOT THINK THEY CAN?
“I say start small and gain confidence that you CAN DO IT. I recently heard about Harriette Thompson, the oldest woman in history to run a marathon at age 76. She got started fifteen years after me -at age 61 when I ran my first marathon. At age 92, she ran another marathon; I, too, am planning to run more marathons-maybe even one at age 93! In the process of running races, Harriette has raised over $100,000 for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society; she is a two-time cancer survivor. I like her attitude and hope to encourage others by telling you what she says. She said when she was younger; she chased after five children and did not have time to run like this. Now her husband is gone and her children are grown and busy. So as is true of all our lives, there are troubles and you need to adopt a CAN DO attitude and just get off the couch and GO. Try to eat properly and remember your age is just a number and does not have to define you. It does take a lot of energy to run, but it has a wonderful after affect of physically feeling better. She and I, too, am pushing ourselves to never stop, but to just keep moving. Try to stay away from negative. Harriette Thompson says the whole experience of running is sheer joy and that is exactly what I have found it to be. I call running my sweet hour(s) of prayer.
A. Get good running shoes and socks.
B. Walk first by parking at farthest places at shopping centers, instead of at the closest parking place.
C. Take water and food- if running long distances.
D. Stretch before and after you get out and go.
E. Find friends who will go with you.
F. Look for races that if you can register early, then you can get a cheaper entry fee. Funny thing how paying a little money is inspiring and helps you make running a priority.”