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Running For a Mission

nathan worbel
Nathan Worbel
michaela wright
Michaela Wright
fiona, maria
Fiona Green, Maria Martinez

Several members of the First United Methodist Church participated in the fourth annual Running Down a Dream 5K and 1-Mile on warm (low 80s), humid Saturday (June 13) morning in Hurst to help raise proceeds for youth missions. And several who weren't members of the church showed up to show support, including the two 5K winners. Taking the men's overall trophy was Arlington Lamar sophomore-to-be Nathan Wrobel, 15, in an unofficial 18:20, and winning the women's overall was frequent road-racer Maria Martinez in an unofficial 19:59.

Maria said winning was great, but she had a ``dream come true'' when she beat another familiar road-race competitor Fiona Green for the first time in their many meetings.

Among the other participants was Michaela Wright, an L.D. Bell runner and church member who will be going on her sixth mission and second to Guatemala, thanks to the proceeds raised from the race and other church events.

Men's winner Nathan Wrobel said he thought the race was Sunday and didn't know until 9:30 p.m. Friday that it was Saturday morning. ``My dad's friend and him went to college together, and he e-mailed me about this race,'' said Nathan, whose weekly training miles has risen to 52. He had planned his training to run Sunday, but decided to test himself anyway and finished in about 18:19 (unofficial). He said his 5K road-race PR is 17:43.

Women's winner Maria Martinez, who seems to be improving every week, said she passed Fiona after the mile mark and managed to stay ahead until the finish. ``She was right behind me. I could hear her breathing,'' Maria said. She ran a PR by dipping under 20 minutes (19:59), but she, Fiona and a few other veteran runners, who all improved on recent times, said the course probably was short. One of the runners estimated it was short, noting his GPS watch showing 3.097 miles. Usually a GPS watch will show longer than the 3.1-mile 5K distance. Still, it didn't take away Maria's joy about winning and beating Fiona, who settled for the women's masters award.

The event raised proceeds for the church's missions. Michaela Wright is going on her sixth mission this summer when she returns to Guatemala for 10 days. It will be her second trip there. Michaela, 17, said last year's mission trip was attended by 25-30. ``It was really cool. It was really different, and last year was my first time to be out of the country,'' she said of the trip, and the experience has helped her become almost fluent in Spanish, a language she said she's been studying since seventh grade. ``Last year, we stayed in a lot of different places because we kind of made the rounds. Usually, we stay at a hotel.'' She said the people she met in Guatemala are very friendly and several help with the mission.


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Running Down a Dream 5K, June 13, 2009

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