Seiler runs Portland Marathon for World Svc.

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MAJOR PAUL SEILER takes a breather after finishing the Portland marathon.


Through the industrial area of Portland on a warm fall morning, with the largest urban forest in America rising above the highway, Major Paul Seiler, Cascade divisional commander, approached the steep climb to the St. John’s Bridge spanning the Willamette River.

For three months he had trained for this moment: a half-marathon around Crater Lake, finishing at 7,000 feet; an 18-mile run through the rolling green foothills of Oregon–runs to augment a running schedule of 12 to 14 miles, three days a week.

On this morning, Seiler not only achieved a personal goal by running the Portland Marathon. He also met another goal–raising money, nearly $5,000, to be used as “seed money” for corps in the Cascade Division.

“All along the way I was encouraged by friends and family who were willing to support my desire to make this a fundraiser for World Services,” says Seiler. “Notes of encouragement, along with occasional age-related kidding, and the generosity of everyone, meant a great deal to me.”

The first 13 miles of the run went smoothly, with an official time of two hours and nine minutes –right on target for a 10-minute per mile run. But then his left leg began cramping. The running gave way to walking, the walking to jogging, and jogging to walking. So went the last nine miles.

“One of my goals after recently reaching the ripe old age of 50 was to run the Portland marathon,” says Seiler. “But what I learned anew is that in life, as in a race, the goal is to stay the course, to keep faith with Christ, to walk with our Lord, in service to him and to others.”

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