by Krissy Truesdale Right now it almost 6:45am and I’m staring at the pinks and oranges of the rising sun over the clear and shallow waters of the Caribbean. It didn’t hit me until this morning that I would only have maybe two more sunrises on or flying above the island, not many in the scheme of the one hundred we’d already almost had.

Two days ago, even earlier than right now, most of us ran Farther than we’ve ever thought we were capable of. Waking up at 4:30am, we mentally prepped for the thirteen mile stretch to Mount Zion Church next to Peter’s house and back. We gathered around the flagpole in pitch black with only the stars illuminating the outlines of people laughing. The race would begin with shooting stars overhead, at least Summer and Gretchen saw them, and us not knowing where our feet were. We were flying. Every few miles and with the sun a little higher in the sky, there were crowds of swimmers passing out water and applause. Vans drove by with crowds cheering and I’d swear I’d never seen my friend Alliea get so excited. Kiley and Olivia gave me high fives as I neared the turn around and they had already made it. I was so proud of them. When I reached the halfway mark, saw Will, Morgen, and a few others dancing and ready to handoff oranges, Gatorade, and further encouragement.  I was the last one to the finish line, and running over the CEI Bridge had never felt so satisfying. My hero Edie Widder was even taking my picture! Everyone had lined up, and I sprinted as fast as I could through the roaring tunnel of cheering and adrenaline. I’d never felt so much at home. I touched the flagpole and the noise just erupted as the 2013 half marathon was over. I fell over, but landed in a pile of hugs as people reminded me I did it. Little Krissy who could barely half walk/half run a mile in the beginning, had ran a half marathon, without stopping and with a smile on her face the entire time. And it was all before my sister had probably rolled out of bed.

During the super swim, the runners got the chance to cheer on their bunkmates as the faced choppy waters and currents running both ways for four miles. There was some confusion when we shouted “Go!” but once underway, they looked like the ocean was their natural habitat, gliding gracefully through the seemingly impossible waters. I was on the sweep boat, so we went up with the back, and then back with the front. We couldn’t identify people as well with swim caps, googles, and swells of waves, but regardless we cheered until we were hoarse for anyone we went by. We later anchored at the finished line, and push them through the final, and most mentally exhausting strokes until they touched the boat. Leigh killed it in under two hours, and Anita was not far behind. From our greatest to our most improved swimmers, we so equally, incredibly proud. They were all heroes and I am so blessed to consider them a part of my Island School family.