Campaign: 2018 Sleeping Bear Marathon
Team: MI North - Sleeping Bear

Alissa Spinniken

Recently I started running/walking again about a year postpartum after my third child. It felt good to get out again! It had been a long time since I went on a run (maybe around 2-3 years.) I lost my desire to run and was consumed with motherhood. After my first and second child I bounced back into running and ran a 5k around four months postpartum. After my third child my body felt different and it seemed there was no time to do much else. Recently my friend challenged me to sign up for a 5k and start training and shared how she has been enjoying running again (she also recently had a baby.) I decided to go out one day and was surprised with how good it felt, yet I was badly out of shape. I resolved to take it very slowly and build up my stamina gradually. I considered signing up for a 5k but I was torn which race to run. There are so many out there, and so many great causes! I continued training and prayed God would be a part of this process of training and possibly running a race again. In the past when I would run and join a race my motives were different. This time I invited God to be a part of it all. Time went on and I temporarily forgot about finding a race to join. It wasn't until I met Todd and Carol Brown, randomly, which ended up being a divine appointment! We got together through my sister in law to watch a movie about Kenyan street children called, Mully Movie. ( I had visited Mully Children's Family (MCF) back in 2008 and fell in love with the children there and was blessed with an amazing mission trip. Although it felt like the Kenyans were serving us more then us them. :) After the movie we all began to chat and Carol shared her own story of going to Kenya and how she ran a marathon (she was never a runner prior to the marathon!) She also shared about Hope Water International (HWI) and how she and Todd recently moved from Troy, MI to Traverse City, MI to start a HWI team here in northern Michigan. I was on the edge of my seat and quickly said if there is a 5k I will sign up! Watching the movie sparked the fire for MCF and for Kenya all over again in me. It had been years since I thought about my missions trip there. It seems God sparked my passion for running and love for Kenya again at the same time! Long story short here I am. Our HWI team has met for a few weeks to train together. Carol introduced me to a method of running for four minutes and walking for one. I decided that if I was able to walk some of the way, perhaps 13.1 miles (a half marathon) just might be do-able. I feel God answered my prayer about which race to run and what cause to support, even when I forgot. :) It has been so inspiring and exciting to see how God ordained the resurgence of running and Kenya at the same time in me. He gets the glory for putting all the pieces together! I hope to raise $1,310.00. $100 for each mile. It will certainly be a challenge for me. It will be the farthest I have ever raced! Yet, God will be with me at every mile. Plus It makes such a difference to know all this training and preparing for the race is also supporting villages in Kenya receive clean water, which gives life. While simultaneously I am meeting new people on the HWI team and together we are spreading the Good News of God's living water here in the U.S.