A Note From Tim's Mother

Our lives on this earth have often been compared to a great race in the bible. Even if you’re not a runner, it is easy to be inspired and encouraged by these words from Isaiah 40:31:
 

“But they that wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.”

Our son Tim certainly found his spirit strengthened and renewed every time he laced up his running shoes and stepped outdoors. Tim was a runner through and through, he echoed the sentiments of Eric Liddell when he said, “When I run, I feel God’s pleasure.” As a junior in high school, Tim petitioned the Derry Township Board of Supervisors to sponsor a road race in Hershey and was given a green light. But Tim would never get the chance to run in the race he dreamt up. On January 23, 1992, Tim and his friend Ben were killed tragically in a car accident.

After the death of our son, we were devastated, and completely shattered, the last thing on our minds was continuing the race Tim had initiated. His death felt so final, like the end of a book, never to be opened again. In our grief though, God did something amazing. He sent this community to reach out to us, to show us that Tim is still alive in the hearts and memories of all he touched. His cross-country teammates, teachers, friends, and friends’ parents all came together and made the race happen as a way of honoring the lives of Tim and Ben. Were it not for the dedication, compassion, and love of this community, this event would have not been possible.

 

For in the end, this race is not about running. It’s not about who has the fastest time and the most stamina. The race is about standing strong alongside your comrades and colleagues in life. It is about helping those who are too weak to continue running because they have been dealt a heavy blow, like the loss of a son or a brother or friend, and need to know they’re not alone on the road. It is about celebrating life, recognizing that it is a gift, making the most of every day, and using the time we’re given to bless others.

This community has done just that. Because of the love and support we have found in this community and the unfailing love of our Lord, we have been able to turn our greatest tragedy into hope and encouragement for others. This race has generated scholarships for students to help ease the burden of college costs for the last 20 years. But more than material benefit, the greatest impact is seen in the message. And the message is this: there is no tragedy that God can’t turn to triumph if we keep our hearts open and our eyes fixed on Him. Tragedies, pain, and disappointments are sure to come in this life, but we are never alone. We are all in this race together, runners and non-runners alike, and if we continue to look to God and help each other up when we fall, we will find the new strength and renewed spirit promised in the bible. At least that is our prayer and hope for this community that has done so much for us over the past 20 years. May God continue to bless you all as you have blessed us, and may the light and love of God continue to illuminate your feet even through the darkest night.

The race is always held the 4th Saturday in August. This year’s race is August 27th. We hope to see many of you there.