The 2013 Masons in Motion Marathon has been run…

We organized another Masons in Motion effort to support the 2013 Twin Cities Marathon, with our charity of choice this year the local council of the Boy Scouts of America. BSA has had a long friendship with Freemasonry in this country. A number of Boy Scout troops (and Cub Scout packs) meet in lodge halls at no cost to youth. Many Masons extend their time and talents as youth volunteers for these fine organizations. So when Bob S. Davis, Master of the lodge, suggested our supporting the BSA in this effort, we heartily agreed.

Why the Huron District? Bob has always been impressed with their commitment to serving less-advantaged youth. He inspired the lodge to adopt them as our charity for this year’s race, which in turn will help over 1,500 scouts in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

We offered a spaghetti feed the night prior to the race and planned a block-long water table near Marshall Avenue and West River Road at mile 20.6. Our beautiful Churchill Lodge banner was shown in view of the entire crowd. “Our” runners wore an identifying shirt, as did race-day volunteers. BSA banners completed the picture.

Publicity included the front page of the June, 2013 issue of the Boy Scout’s regional newspaper, The Navigator, pictured at left:

Also we were featured in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of the Navigator, viewable by clicking on the picture to the right:

We were even written up in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of the Minnesota Mason.

Five to ten adult scouting leaders ran and contributed. Masons and Scouting volunteers participated in the run-up to the race, as well as on race day. Should you have questions or wish to contribute financially, please contact organizer Doug Beach by clicking on his name, or calling Doug at 952-232-7977. You may also contact Wor. Bob S. Davis by writing or calling him at 952-738-1888.

The 2012 Race is Run…

The following paragraphs are from previous editions of the Masons in Motion race.

Several brothers raced in 2012, without a formal Masons in Motion effort.

In 2011, our effort was much more extensive. That year, each of our runners crossed the finish line in early- or mid-pack, all nine. Their times are listed below. Over 50 volunteers worked from 6AM until 1PM at our block-long water table near Marshall Avenue and West River Road. SWC organizers secured this excellent opportunity to publicize Freemasonry at no cost to our lodge, allowing us to hoist a beautiful Churchill Lodge banner in view of the entire crowd, just past mile number 20. Well, it was  visible until about 1PM, when a woefully errant biker with something else on his mind, drove himself into it. We’re quite certain his pratfall had nothing to do with anti-Masonic views.

Here are the Finishers, with links to their time splits:

WB Peter Hulbert, PM Mpls Lodge #19, Finisher, 4:00:21
Mr. Dan Pedersen, Sean’s cousin-in-law, Finisher, 4:57:36
MWB Andrew Rice, WM SWC Lodge #351, Finisher, 5:02:23
WB Daniel Akins, SW SWC Lodge #351, Finisher, 5:02:23
Bro. Chris Taylor, SWC Lodge #351, Finisher, 5:09:48
WB R. Sean Gardiner, WM Dakota Lodge #7, Finisher, 5:16:00
Ms. Krista Benninger, Lake Harriet Chapter, OES #202, Finisher, 5:20:53
Ms. Leslie Collins, of Colorado, and friend of Krista, Finisher, 5:20:53
WB Stoffel Reitsma, PM Sherburne Lodge #95, Finisher, 5:22:00

A marathon is a race against oneself. Commemorating the efforts of an Athenian soldier, who was sent to alert the anxious populace of Greece’s great victory over the Persians in the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC, he ran the distance, delivered his message, and died from the effort and his wounds. Immortalized by this heroic deed, today, millions run a similar 26.2 mile course every year.  They may compare times, and certainly those elite runners who travel from across the globe to compete will struggle mightily against one another. 

Yet runners run alone.

Experienced marathoners say that such a competition is far more a matter of mind  than ‘just’ developing a finely tuned body. A five mile or 10K run is an entry point. Fairly easy, it can be therapeutic. By the half-marathon mark, at 13.1 miles, the body becomes a raging machine, burning every bit of energy it can find.  Racers are thankful for a gulp water, or better yet, of electrolyte-rich Gatorade or Poweraide, or an energy bar.  But the body was not designed to eat and run, literally, as it is not uncommon for a runner to stop in mid-race with a gasp, vomit a too-cold drink of water, and without an errant thought, again place one foot ahead of the other and press on.  What form of endurance is it, which drives a man or woman to cling so desperately to such an effort? 

Marine General “Lew” Puller famously said, “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”  Indeed, a marathoner knows this.

In preparation to running a marathon, a runner will achieve a series of ‘long runs,’ each designed to probe the limits of what he might do. By the 18th or 20th mile, runners will hit The Wall, which they swear feels like a physical barrier.  At this stage, the body has exhausted all its reserves of glycogen, derived from hoarded carbohydrates, and has moved to a metabolic level where nothing but the body’s own remaining fat stores will feed it. This is an immense change, and many novice runners cannot overcome it.  But where the Will perseveres against The Wall, a marathoner paces on. The trial long run of 20 miles is designed so a new marathoner would meet this barrier, to know his adversary.  The Marathon itself allows them to crush it, to pass it by, and to set foot after foot on unmapped lands. 

Such a race is never, never, never easy. For some on our team, this is a first time, and becomes for them an amazing revelation of the potential inherent to each of us. Others among our team have previously run this grueling 26.2 mile course, or another marathon, or one even longer, if not a more beautiful race, and so carry that memory with them forever. Indeed, one of our team is a Ragnar relay runner and two are Ironmen. But today, these nine men and women are equally – and proudly – Finishers in today’s great race.

We are proud of you all.

Hats off to Bro. Robert S. Davis, assisted by Wor. David E. Johnson, who did a great job organizing the event.

Here’s a map for those who wish to review the race course. All final times were verified by GPS tracking.


Thanks to all the volunteers who helped the night before the race at the pre-race spaghetti feed at Lake Harriet Lodge. Many runners appreciate carbo loading before a race, and at least 25 of us enjoyed a wonderful meal together.


This has been a big effort by some remarkable volunteers. Some key persons were sidelined by injury during training, including race organizer Bob S. Davis, a long-time runner, and even our Grand Master Tom Hendrickson who was unable to run due to cartilege damage he suffered eight weeks ago. Nevertheless, these brothers cheered all the runners throughout the day, from the sidelines at mile #20.6, and at the Finish. Tom and Bob, you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Race Day Information

Freemasons are Running the Marathon!

October 2nd of 2011 marks the running of the 35th annual Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. Our own MWB Thomas Hendrickson plans to don his running shoes and brave the distance, which marks the culmination of a year of training work and the shedding of an amount in excess of 100 Pounds-o-Tom. Heh. It seems Tom vowed he needed to be trim for his year as Grand Master, as it did in early April. Bravo, on your twin accomplishments Brother! In addition, Tom has charged us with helping him raise pledges marking his efforts for Minnesota Masonic Charities. Come, cheer on this hometown boy, and nine other Masons who have agreed to run side by side with him, including the three principal officers of SWC Lodge!

All lodges are invited to participate.  To cheer.  To contribute.

You Can Join Our Grand Master! Not Running? You Can Contribute in Other Ways…

Your Lodge, and you personally, are invited to contribute as generously as you can to MWB Hendrickson’s pledge drive in support of Minnesota Masonic Charities (MMC). Pledges are to be made in honor of the team’s attempting the run, and are not designed as a per-mile donation.

Tom’s goal is that each lodge in our state contribute some gift, large or small, in commemoration of Masons Who Go the Distance again and again in support of our many charitable programs. These funds will come back to the lodge in many ways through the hundreds of matching grants, scholarships and institutional support grants that MMC provides. New money is needed to continue to increase our funds, which have been built up over the years by so many dedicated Masons and their families.

Will you help us reach 100% participation of every lodge in the state? Fill out the form below!