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Dream Big

Posted Jan 25 2008 12:00am
On Sunday, January 20 many of us lost a friend, fellow runner, family member. Richard Harvey was the biggest teddy bear of a man I ever had the fun of running with.

The North Florida Chapter of Team in Training Coordinator said this about Richard:

"Richard was 28 years old. His first event/marathon was Disney 2007. He started out as a 280 lb. country boy who loved fishing and hunting and decided to run a marathon who came through with flying colors. Team In Training gave him a second family and he stayed connected with his teammates. He ran the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington D.C. with some alumni this past fall and was a team leader in Tallahassee for the Disney 08 team in which his older brother, Michael, was a participant.

Sunday, January 13th, Richard completed the Disney marathon for a second time. Friday (January 18), he spoke at the Tally TNT information meeting. Richard believed if he could do a marathon, anyone could. Team In Training meant so much to Richard. Tuesday night there were close to 1000 people who came to visit with his family and share their condolences. I can't tell you how many people were at his funeral yesterday (there were too many to count), but I can tell you that about 30 TNT alumni showed up wearing running shoes, medals and TNT shirts/gear carrying a purple carnation. At one point, by the graveside, I looked down and all I could see was a sea of running shoes. Richard's life ended way too soon but his memory will live on in the hearts and minds of many forever."

Far be it from me to presume to even be able to comment on Richard's life and what has happened. I didn't really run much with him last year because of being a "halfer," and didn't get to know him really any better until we got into the downhill slide this year. I find it really difficult to sit here and know that LAST WEEK (January 13, 2008) that man ran a marathon "with" me. But, I can tell you (and all of us that ran with him) I can't think of a better example or testimony to anyone thinking of undertaking a program such as Team in Training, or living your life to its fullest, or dreaming all the way to the moon and back. Just think about how much confidence and positive self-image he instilled in not only our 2006-07 Disney group, but in this 2007-08 season group, and ultimately in those who saw him at each event he did! I distinctly remember thinking many times - especially during the longest and loneliest of the longs - Richard does this. I CAN do this! Richard doesn't quit on the hills. I CAN do this. Richard does. I CAN!

I think that Chuck said it best this time last year when he said that you can not measure a persons will or the size of a person's heart. Richard's heart out measured his weight. You simply can't measure the size of a person's heart, and in this case a soul and a spirit. Richard now gets to be "picture perfect" in his own eyes and in the eyes of His Lord. My only prayer is that whatever that "picture perfect" has going for it, it includes running shoes and his Mickey Mouse medals.

Richard said he could run a marathon. So run a marathon he did. And, then another and another. He had big dreams.

And when you cry, be sure to dry your eyes
because better days are sure to come.
And when you smile, be sure to smile wide
And Don't let them know that they have won.
And when you walk, walk with pride.
Don't show the hurt in side
because the pain will soon be gone

And when you dream, dream big,
as big as the ocean blue
Cause when you dream it might come true
When you dream, dream big

And when you laugh, be sure to laugh out loud
because it'll carry all your cares away
And when you see, see the beauty
all around and in yourself and it'll help you feel OK.
And when you pray, pary for strength,
to help you carry on when the troubles come your way.

And when you dream, dream big,
as big as the ocean blue
Cause when you dream it might come true
When you dream, dream big

Dream big...
Dream big...

(Song by Ryan Shupe & The Rubberband, lyrics at )

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