Rachael and my nephew, Myles 🙂
Runnin’ for Rachael!!

This morning I got to do one of the coolest races I’ve ever heard of. The Lakeshore Miracle Run is described as one of the toughest 10K races in Michigan – 6.2 miles of pavement, trails, waterfront beach and dunes. I decided last night to take part in it because all proceeds to go the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. My cousin’s 14-yr daughter, Rachael, has been diagnosed with lymphoma and has been undergoing treatment at DeVos Children’s Hospital these last couple weeks. Rachael is an absolutely beautiful, fun and faith-filled girl – and her strength and spirit through these rough times have been remarkable and inspiring.

Kelly, Sarah and I decided to make it a ‘fun run’ and let all the serious racers pass us by. Though the course was extrememly challenging, it was incredible!! Give me woods and water, and I am set 🙂 – the beauty was breathtaking!!! Rain showers and heavy winds drenched us at the start, but subsided for awhile. The greyness of the morning made the woods and trails feel haunted and it was so cool winding up and down the dirt paths, dodging green leaves and branches and literally jumping over and ducking under fallen logs. It was so fun!!

The wooded trail brought us out to the Dunes overlooking Lake Michigan and the once-packed dirt turned into loose beach ground. Yee-ouch! We ran along the shore as we were pelted by flying sand – and opted to stay close to the water so we could get better footing (though soaked hiking shoes from the waves didn’t really help!). The most challenging part of the race was the 1/4 mile run (ok…walk!) STRAIGHT UP the Bowl – Holland’s infamous sand dune area. The site was amazing and though we felt like we were about to pass out – we all made it! 🙂

What goes up must come down, and we leaped and soared down the soft sand of the dune – it was a riot! We looped back through the woods and finished back on the road for the end of the race. We had a ton of fun and it was even better knowing it was for such a great cause – WE LOVE YOU, RACH!!!

PS – here’s how you can help! 🙂

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