This Is Harder Than I Thought

I started this blog last year when I committed to running to raise funds and awareness for Oasis for Orphans.  I set out to run two half marathons and a full marathon:

  1. Capital City Half Marathon, Columbus OH – “HARD!”
  2. Alexian Brothers Fitness for America Half Marathon, Hoffman Estates IL – “HARDER!”
  3. Bank of America Chicago Marathon, Chicago IL – “MOST HARDEST!”
  4. RAM Chicago Hot Chocolate 15K, Chicago IL – “HURT”

I must admit that while I was excited to start this blog I had now idea how much time and energy it took (“VERY HARD”).  As you can see, I stopped posting here and focused on Facebook (FB).

Here is my FB post after running the marathon:

Status Update
By Tony Jao
As I reflect over the last 24 hours, I think about all the things I am grateful for:I was blessed to have started our morning in prayer with Team Oasis!
I was blessed to have seen Steph at the very beginning before the race started!
I was blessed that my 2 brothers Herman & Joey along with my son Eli were there to cheer me on at the half way mark, Greektown, and the final 2 miles! (in addition to eating Lou Malnati’s afterwards!)557665_10151043562351792_647866377_n
I was blessed to have seen Anthony and Tom from Golden Legs Racing when I was at a point where I hadn’t seen any familiar faces in the crowd. 
I was blessed by a belly-aching-funny memory of Juli that helped me to laugh when I was doubting my ability to finish.
I’m grateful for the church group who prayed for me just after mile 19. 
I was blessed to see my brother Joey at mile 21 after he had to run 2 miles from the opposite direction just to get to me!
I was blessed to have Joey run alongside, coach, and encourage me all the way to the end.
I was blessed to have seen Jennifer and Michael at mile 26 when they had finished HOURS before me and they too ran me in!
I was blessed by a total stranger who saw me crying uncontrollably by myself just after passing through the finish line, came over to me, and gave me a strong hug and said, “I’m so proud of you!”
I was blessed to see the Huffman family still at the Post Race area as I was the last of our team to finish
I am blessed by Kim Huffman & Team Oasis for Orphans for helping me physically, emotionally, and spiritually prepare for this race.
I am blessed this event’s HUNDREDS of text, Facebooks posts ‘likes’ and ‘comments’, and Tweets of encouragement and support from my family and friends (that would be YOU!) I am blessed by those of you who helped me raised over $1000 towards a 2nd Children’s Site for Oasis for Orphans!I am blessed by my wife, Jennifer, and my 2 boys who sacrificed so much for me over the last few months!I’ve learned that ‘finishing’ the marathon is less about getting to the end but more about the people, relationships, and experiences that I was blessed with along the way. My medal serves as a reminder of all of that!Thank you for participating in my journey…one I will never forget!553469_10151043562416792_1609983269_n - Version 2

Last year, I raised  just over $1000 will all of your help.  As Team Oasis, we exceeded our goal of $50K.  The funds were used to purchase the land for a new site in Kibera known as the largest slum in Africa.

This year, I was blessed to have been picked in the lottery to register for the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon where 36,000 put their lottery entries in for 15,000 remaining spots!   Looks like I will be running for Team Oasis and this time to raise $2,000 towards $75K to go towards the actual construction of the children’s home.

Join me again and this time let’s invite more people to catch the vision of making a difference!  Please use and share the following link: http://run.tonyjao.com

Tony

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