The end is near for Team 99 Counties

Community: Daren Schumaker and Dennis Lee will make final trek on Saturday

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Editor’s note: Daren Schumaker of Cedar Rapids and Dennis Lee of Walford are attempting to run across Iowa’s 99 counties to raise money and awareness for the American Heart Association. They’ve completed 98 counties and will run No. 99, Delaware County, on Saturday.

We are almost there. We have almost arrived.

Every minute, every hour and every day we creep closer and closer to that moment in time when our past joys and struggles — all we have accomplished — will smash into our “always-just-over-the-horizon” goal of running across each of Iowa’s 99 counties.

That moment, that single moment in time when the past and the future will collide to create the present, is quickly approaching.

By this time next week, we will have run our last mile, climbed our last hill and crossed our 99th and final county — Delaware County.

On Saturday, we will rise early and drive north out of Cedar Rapids for the last time as Team 99 Counties. We plan to arrive in Masonville and take the first steps of our final 26.2-mile adventure at 9 a.m. Our route will start just west of Masonville at the corner of Buchanan-Delaware Avenue and 215th Street, passing through Masonville before settling in on 210th Street. From there we will be on cruise control, following 210th Street through Manchester — where we will zig and zag to visit all the sites, past Delaware, through Earlville and to Dyersville.

We anticipate we will take our last steps — and then cry like babies — between 1:30 and 2 p.m. If you want to join us for the Manchester part of the run, we will be at the west edge of town around 10 a.m.

We say “our route” because we hope to see as many of you as possible as we creep closer and closer to completion. You know where we will be. You know when we will be there. We hope to see family. We hope to see friends. More importantly, we hope to see each and every single one of you. We hope to see you cheering. We hope to see you smiling. Hell, we even hope to see some of you running — whether it be for a few steps or for 26.2 miles.

Today’s words are brief, to the point, and contain no lesson. The idea tank is almost empty.

Lessons can be learned by reading words on paper, but in our opinion, those same lessons are best learned through experience. Personally experience our last adventure and learn a life lesson, a lesson you can share with others.

The next few days will be a blur of mental and physical preparations, and interview after interview as part of our final media blitz. It will be here before we know it. It will be here in the blink of an eye. It will be here in the blink of a tearful eye.

The last chapter is about to be written and we’d like as much help writing it as possible.

Be a part of our last adventure, be a part of our crossing of Delaware County.

If you’re interested in participating, feel free to contact us on Facebook at Team 99 Counties.

l To make a donation or buy a T-shirt, email Dennis Lee at telcoden@yahoo.com

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