In October (2014) I will be running in the Chicago Marathon. It is my first attempt at running in such a classic race. I've been training very hard for it, just ask Sarah, and I am excited about this opportunity.
More importantly, this really isn't about me. I am running with a team from my alma mater Concordia Chicago to help raise money for a pair of good causes that will benefit thousands of people in the greater community. Part of our team is raising money for a Literacy Center on campus and the other half, myself included, are raising money for a Community Fitness Center. It makes running in the marathon all about giving back and loving thy neighbor.
What each of us has been tasked to do, as a part of our being a member on this team, is to raise at least $1000 to support this cause. I am honored to be a part of this and humbly am looking for my brothers and sisters in Christ to step up and offer their support of these community projects at Concordia Chicago.
To be a part of this good cause follow my link (bit.ly/WitteChicago) to my bio page hosted by "4aGoodCause" and there is a "Donate Now" link on that page. You can also send check donations via snail mail to the campus of Concordia Chicago and mark my name and Chicago Marathon on your check so they route it to the right place.
Thank you so much for reading and for considering being a part of this wonderful event. Below you can see more of my story that our team organizers have asked me to write. That same story is also on my bio page at the link above. God bless.
My StoryI am blessed to be pastor of Grace Lutheran Church (Monroe, MI) and Teacher at Lutheran High South (Newport, MI). In my years teaching at LHS I've seen them develop a wonderful tradition and theme that governs what they do: 'To God be the glory.' This seems to be the perfect way to describe why I've joined Concordia Chicago's Marathon Team for 2014.
Running is a pastime I've picked up in the last few years. I used to run here and there just enough to stay in shape for summer hiking trips. As my passion for summer hiking grew, and I realized I could only indulge that passion for 2 weeks a summer, another passion had to grow to cover the other 11 1/2 months of the year: so enters running.
In the past year I pushed my limits over and over with more and more distance running. For several years I'd thought about 8 or 9 miles would have been at my limit. Then I set the goal: let's do 13.1, a half marathon. I worked towards that and it was accomplished. This led to the goal for this fall: go for the whole 26.2 miles.
One problem I've faced though is most major marathons are run on Sundays. This is a practical problem for me as a pastor as that happens to be the one day I work each week (Just kidding, if you know what I mean). I couldn't see telling my congregation that I needed to get away for a Sunday just because I felt the need to go run a race (especially at a time when I'm the sole pastor). I was looking around for any great opportunity that would arise and then I heard about Concordia's Team running for the Chicago Marathon. To run for my alma mater and to support them by raising money for a Community Fitness center became the perfect way to do this to God's glory and not just because I felt like it.
It is especially great to be supporting Concordia Chicago as this university is alma mater to such a large portion of my family: father, mother, uncle, wife, brother, sister-in-law and so many of my closest friends. It has also been the career home of my father Dr. Dennis Witte.
So now that the plans are in place it is time to simply make it happen. I am humbly going to ask for the support of all my family, friends, and Christian neighbors in this life to raise up some fantastic support for Concordia Chicago's Community Fitness Center. I also wish for prayers and support for my training efforts to be ready to run this marathon and run it well.
My thanks and to God be the glory.
Rev. Mark K. Witte -- Monroe, Michigan
(If you'd like to help share this page you can use this short-link to help simplify things: http://bit.ly/WitteChicago)