Marathon in Duluth

In Family Updates, Featured, Ministry Reports by David Waller15 Comments

Heavy fog, a light drizzling rain, in 42-55 degree temperatures was not an ideal Saturday for most people in Duluth, MN, but for the thousands of marathoners gathered, it was great weather for breaking new time records. For us, it was simply a miracle that we were attempting to run the race. Both Samuel and David sustained sports injuries which should have kept them out of the race. David had not run more than 4 miles in months, but had consulted several doctors who specialize in sports injuries. They cautiously encouraged him to do all he could to exercise other muscle groups and build endurance while not using any injured muscles. Then Samuel pulled a muscle just a few days before the race. They both resigned themselves that they would not be able to run the race. However, David’s dad counseled them that since they were nearby for a family reunion, they might as well go and pick up the race packet and the t-shirt. However, when they walked into the big convention hall, Samuel groaned out loud what David was thinking already, “Let’s just start running the race and see how far we get before we drop out!” They truly caught the running fever  :-).


With a sweet kiss at the starting line, David was inspired for the race, however long it might be before he would have to drop out. As we all drove up that chilly morning, Priscilla read Hebrews 11-13. Several verses stood out, but one in particular gave David the direction and inspiration he was needing for the long race: “make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed” (Hebrews 12:13). DavidlovesPriscilla00002

It was so much more encouraging that David and Samuel got to run together. They had good times of talking, and taking in the beautiful scenery between Two Harbors, MN and Duluth.DavidlovesPriscilla00003

Priscilla had carefully packed a shirt for David to toss away once he got warmed up. There are so many analogies between running a race and the Christian life. Tossing aside the extra weight is necessary if we are to finish strong. The good really can be the enemy of the best. DavidlovesPriscilla00004

Priscilla jumped in the car and met up with David and Samuel at mile 7 and they were still going strong. DavidlovesPriscilla00005

Nothing like a comrade to spur you on. This was Samuel’s first marathon, while David did one a couple years ago. However, neither had trained fully so it was a blessing they were able to run at all. A friend who had just missed the bombing at the Boston Marathon had also been injured prior to her run in that marathon and she just thanked God for each mile that she was able to go. That was inspiration for Samuel and David to thank God for each step they were able to take. Really, each breath we have is a gift from God.  DavidlovesPriscilla00006  The crowded finish line had one focus for David. He was looking for Priscilla and Paul!DavidlovesPriscilla00008

Ah! 26.2 miles are now passed and lots of memories have been made.DavidlovesPriscilla00009Here is another portion of Hebrews that was very encouraging “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, looking unto 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” (Hebrews 12:1-2).


Paul was such a good boy tucked in and nice and warm.DavidlovesPriscilla00010

David’s family surprised him and came out to the race. Because Samuel and David were not competing so much for time, but focusing on simply completing the race, they came to the finish line after running for 4 hours and 25 minutes. The perk was that many of the runners had already gotten their food and the volunteers insisted that David and Samuel take plenty of food for their waiting family.

Watch Parts of the Race:



  1. Congratulations! I wish I knew that you were in Duluth. It would have been fun to cheer you on.

  2. Wow! What an amazing accomplishment. Really!
    I am not a runner,and for the first time in my life haven’t started to run. For me, finishing one mile was a big victory… but 26.2? That’s inspiring! Thank you for sharing.

  3. Congratulations to the both of you!! Their are no further injuries right? 26.2 miles is quite the run, GOOD JOB!!

  4. Yay!! Congrats on a huge accomplishment! I can just imagine how fulfilling it felt to finish… and to be fueled by God’s word and the camaraderie of a friend. Awesome!

  5. Well done that man!

    I do marathons and have problems with my gluteus and quads. I get a professional sports masseur to give me a good going over post marathon. I’ve found it does relieve the tension and stiffness. Herbal tea also helps.

    “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13


    1. Sometimes if you eat a banana, or something with a lot of potassium will help, a quick warm up, and a GOOD stretch. Then ease in to the run, for the first 20 min, then go hard, cool down very slowly, and have a good hot bath when you get home!!!

  6. Congrats! Duluth is a GREAT place to visit (I’m biased….it’s out my backdoor!) and take in all that is there: Split Rock Lighthouse, Gooseberry Falls, etc. I hope you and Priscilla enjoyed it!

  7. Awesome! 26.2 miles wow… I would not be able to do that, even without an injury. But with god all is possible!

  8. Are you two in Sacramento? If so we would llllooooooovvvvveeeeeeee to meet you!

  9. Hi David and Priscilla,
    I was wondering, does Priscilla run too? You could make running an activity you do together! It is fun and also very beneficial to your health! I love how the two of you seem very health conscious!

  10. Congratulations! Running a marathon is an amazing accomplishment-especially in jeans!!!! Have you guys ever heard of running shorts???

    1. Author

      Thanks for the congrats! It was quite a cool day in the 40-50s with mist and rain. We were glad to have jogging pants.

  11. Hi guys, if we knew you were running in Duluth we would have come to watch and cheered you on and would have brought mom and dad.It would have been great to see all of you.

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