Briana Qualifies for Olympic Trials

19 Nov

“Champions know that success is inevitable; that there is no such thing as failure, only feedback. They know that the best way to forecast the future is to create it.” – Michael J. Gelb

I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. (Psalm 16:8)

What easy things can you do each day to leave the legacy of a champion?

Great news! Yesterday, Briana Whaley qualified for the 2008 U.S. Olympic team trials with a time of 2:46:20 in the Philadelphia Marathon. Briana ran the best marathon of her life, narrowly beating the Olympic qualifying time by 40 seconds. What a tremendous achievement. Briana ran the first half of her marathon in an amazing 1:21 despite a cold and rainy day resulting in slow overall times. For example, the male winner in this marathon was 8 minutes slower than the winner in 2006 and the female winner was 1.5 minutes slower.

This was a big answer to prayer. On Saturday afternoon November 17, Julia (my wife) happened to send an email to some friends inviting them to join her for a bike ride the next afternoon. Briana quickly responded to Julia’s email informing her that she was competing in the Philadelphia Marathon on Nov 18 in her bid to qualify for the Olympic trials. When Briana asked Julia to pray for her, Julia promptly forwarded that prayer request to me.

After receiving the prayer request from Julia, I felt strongly led to send a devotional later that evening asking my network of supporters to pray for Briana. Despite having lots of other things on my plate, I sensed an urgency from God’s perspective.

Briana’s story has been an amazing one to watch unfold. It clearly has God’s signature all over it. Julia first met Briana the week before the 4th of July 5k run in Culpeper in 2007. After seeing Briana “clean clock” at that event, Julia didn’t see Briana again until October 17 when Briana came up to her coffee table at “Taste of Culpeper,” a huge business event in downtown Culpeper. God used Julia to speak words of encouragement to Briana.

Many people want what others have, but aren’t willing to pay the price for that success. In my October 16 devotional, I mentioned that “as in a marathon, the secret lies not in trying harder, but in training consistently.” It’s the little choices we make each and every day that give us a slight edge.

Now begins a 5 month journey as Briana trains ever harder to qualify for the Olympics. The 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials—Women’s Marathon was awarded to the Boston Athletic Association on June 22, 2006. The event will be held in downtown Boston and Cambridge, MA, on April 20, 2008. Julia and I plan to go to Boston to support Briana. While I’ve never been to Boston or Massachusetts for that matter, we’ll make this a ministry vacation and see what God has in store.

We ask for your support in praying for Briana regularly. To learn more about the U.S. women’s marathon Olympic trials, see today’s Link of the Day. If you’d like to send a prayer of encouragement to Briana, please reply to this email with your prayer and I’ll forward that to Briana.

Prayer Power
Heavenly Father, thank You so much for the answered prayer to have Your pillar of cloud go before Briana yesterday to allow her to qualify for the Olympic trials. I am so thankful and humbled that You have crossed her path with that of my wife. Now I come boldly into Your throne room of grace beseeching You to bless and encourage Briana daily over the next 5 months as she prepares for the Olympic trials. Prepare Briana physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to be one of the top 3 qualifies in the marathon in Boston on April 20. Thank You Jesus. Amen and Hallelujah!

Link of the Day
2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials—Women’s Marathon []
Blessings to Briana in her quest to qualify for the Olympics and bring God the glory!