The Goal, Not the Finish, Motivates This Marathoner

Post a Comment » Written on October 17th, 2008     
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CHICAGO, IL (October 17, 2008) – Barbara Goode is proud to say that out of the 31,401 people who finished the recent Chicago Marathon, she was number 29,531. She is, after all, 70 years old.

Goode (top photo), a member of North Park Covenant Church, also raised more than $3,500 for the Break the Chains initiative to combat human trafficking.

GoodeShe was one of three Chicago area residents to raise money and awareness for Break the Chains, which is sponsored by the Department of Women Ministries of the Evangelical Covenant Church. Also running were Jim Bruckner, professor of Old Testament at North Park Theological Seminary, and Boaz Johnson, professor of biblical and theological studies at North Park University. The center photo shows Bruckner, left, and Johnson prior to the race.

Goode completed the race in 6:15:39, which also placed her fourth of nine women in the age 70 to 75 category. “I was just glad to complete it,” she says.

This was not the toughest marathon for Goode. Her run in Greenland last year was grueling (lower photo). The course is extremely hilly.

“You can’t train for that in Chicago,” she says, laughing. Goode did finish the course.

Goode has run 10 marathons. She was 40 years old when she ran her first race, which was the second Chicago Marathon. She has since run that race when she was 50 and 60 as well as this year.

Goode also has run among the redwood trees in California. “It is so beautiful,” she says.

In preparation for last Saturday’s race, Goode added roughly one mile each week to her regular training regimen. Her husband, John, would ride his bike alongside to keep her company on the long runs, and he also brought along nourishment.

Johnson and BrucknerGoode decided to raise money for Break the Chains because the marathon probably is her last long-distance race, and she wanted to help Women Ministries. She received donations from family and friends, including members of the church, where she had set up an informational booth for several weeks before the event.

Goode worked more than 30 years at Swedish Covenant Hospital as a medical social worker before retiring at age 65. She continues to work there on call, as often as needed.

This was the second year that Johnson, 51, has raised money to help fight human trafficking. The issue is especially close to him because friends he grew up with in a New Dehli, India, slum would suddenly disappear, having been sold into slavery.

His Break the Chains runner’s shirt was emblazoned with “Race for Justice,” and people running behind him kept shouting the words to him. Others asked questions about the initiative.

Johnson says he hopes local Covenant churches will consider setting up information booths at local marathons. They also can distribute water or other items to help the runners.

GreenlandJohnson, Jim Bruckner, and Jim’s son, Luke, crossed the finish line together. “I think that was one of my best experiences,” says Johnson, 51, who has run marathons for six years to benefit different causes.

Jim Bruckner, 51, ran to raise awareness because the lives of some childhood friends had some similarity with Johnson’s friends. “I grew up on the west coast of Alaska in third world conditions,” he says.

Speaking of his friends, Bruckner recalls, “They disappeared into other kinds of abuse.”
He notes the high rate of child abuse, neglect, alcoholism, and suicide in some of the areas. Like many of the children in India, his friends stood little chance of escaping their conditions.

Covenanters already have registered to raise money for Break the Chains by running this weekend in marathons in Kansas City, Missouri, and Denver, Colorado. Others are signed up to run a half-marathon on November 30 in Seattle, Washington. Covenanters already have run a marathon in Bellingham, Washington.

Athletes in any sport can become members of the Break the Chains team. For more information, see TEAM.

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