“All good things must come to an end.”

~Chaucer

It’s been a heck of a year. While there’s a lot to talk about, from career changes to, more recently, car accidents, and from publishing books and articles to time spent with loved ones, I’m going to focus most of my attention here on running.

This year was full of running accomplishments. At the Oma-half, I set a lifetime PR in the half marathon, and at Grandma’s I set a lifetime PR in the marathon. I got second place in a 5K this year, first place in a beer mile, paced half a dozen half marathons, ran a total of five marathons in five states including the I-35 challenge, and covered 2,223 miles in total on the year—more than a thousand more than any previous year.

I also learned a great deal about Afghanistan, and the Afghan people. My students and I researched and read about Afghanistan at length, we helped two Afghan families resettle in Omaha by helping to set up a home for them to live in, we celebrated the Afghan New Year, ate Afghan food, and developed a habit of seeking out news about Afghanistan, getting better and better at finding it as we did. 

Finally, this year, with your help and that of many, many more people, I’ve helped to raise somewhere around $1.3 million dollars. About $5K of that went to Afghan refugees resettling in Omaha through the Kandahar Marathon, and to those who supported my efforts, thank you. I hope that in the future we’ll do even more together.

Tomorrow, I’ll wake up and go for a run, but you probably guessed as much. If you’re a runner, or have any inkling of becoming one, reach out and we’ll go together sometime. I don’t care how fast we run, but I’d be grateful for your company. Please sign up to follow my blog at markgudgel.com, keep in touch, and have a wonderful start to the new year.

Yours in friendship and gratitude,

Mark

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