Friday, June 12, 2015

PT281+ August 20, 2015


It’s been awhile since I’ve updated my blog. So much has happened in my life since Badwater. I can’t believe that was the last post. God has done so much since then. I also cannot believe I didn’t post about HURT last January, amazing experience I will never forget with the US Navy Seal team! I will post some pictures. We have a little girl now and she loves Ultras and camping…haha I think, she is only 9 months . 
 
In August, we will be traveling to Portugal for a race called PT281+ http://pt281mais.com/ this is the website. It is the inaugural event. I just finished my last training run here in VA and it was the last of three in 6 weeks. I am trying to concentrate on preparing myself now for Portugal and getting my head wrapped around the 175+ miles I will do in under 66 hours. It will take all of my physical, mental, and spiritual strength to prepare and complete this race.  


 
I recently was motivated by the fervor and mission of a charity organization called HOPE in the DC area. It is all about just loving people and meeting them right where they are with no strings attached. Love in action. I have chosen to fund raise for this charity using the race in Portugal. I like to think of it as the HOPE association going international J Here is the website http://www.thehopeassociation.org/ and they recently posted a blog about my journey in ultra-running http://www.thehopeassociation.org/category/uncategorized/.  I Hope that we can raise money to fund the endeavors this organization supports, like the homeless children playtime project. Please check out the website. I am truly thankful for the opportunity to use running for bettering not only me, but this world. As best I can at least.
 
 
This is the HOPE association’s mission and vision :
Mission and Vision
The HOPE Association is a not-for-profit organization that was founded in 2012 out of the great calling to create everyday miracles for children in need throughout the DC metro area. Through our various programs and projects, we strive to meet children where they are, and minister to their needs, whether spiritual, physical, emotional, or relational. We also aim to equip aspiring leaders with the inspiration and tools they need to be the change this world so desperately needs and make an impact in their local communities. Our leadership development programs and events aim to create a new generation of leaders who are the channels of hope and healing in a world so desperate for it. Our legacy at HOPE is not found in our present work but rather in the future generations of lives that have been made better through our presence.
 
 



Monday, July 30, 2012

Badwater 2012

"Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1.
Badwater 2012
It is Monday July 16th, 2012 at 6am, the journey starts. It is difficult, and sometimes I felt that's an understatement. Emotions flooded my heart as we started. Here I am, a complete rookie, standing at the start line with some of the most amazing people from all across the world. Lots ahead of us that we will face: heat, dehydration, weakness, complete exhaustion, and pain. Pain that lingers for a very long time! But despite all that, looking at the cross and the blood shed on the cross, I found much comfort and peace. Remember what God promised, Trust him and He will give you the ability to get it done.
It's in the suffering that we grow in our character. We get to experience Christ working in us, transforming our character, enabling us and sustaining us in every way possible. Ahhh... to let go, completely, and let him be the driver. I kept thinking," I got the easy job here, all I got to do is lift my foot up, and He'll move it forward".
Badwater was one of the most incredible experiences I ever went through, life transforming in every way. I pray the message lives and prospers: In choosing the difficult path, we are allowed to grow. Every step of the journey will shape and strengthen your character. 
It is Wednesday July 18th, 2012 at 2:08am, the journey stops.
Badwater 2012. Levi Rizk. M28. Time: 44:08
Support crew: Mandy Rizk (crew chief, and the love of my life), and Matt Kracht (Butch, seems like the guy you meet on the run, and remains a close friend for life)

Some pictures below:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUq5zvJDeg0

2012 Badwater: I'm Running Badwater interview
www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3b_MEntOLU

Saturday, July 14, 2012

On our way to BADWATER!

Hello everyone :) from Dallas airport. We are waiting for our connecting flight to Las Vegas; where we have a full day of pre-race preparations planned. Please continue to pray for our safe arrival and rest. We will get a SUV or a really cool van at the airport and then head out to Death Valley, eeekkkk I hate even typing it...DEATH VALLEY. It sounds so gut wrenchingly dreadful. Anyhow..looking forward to the Rizk it all including our lives adventure :) thank you tremendously to all of you for your prayers and funds supporting Love-N-Care ministries in motivating Levi to do the badwater race. Please check out Love-N-Care ministry website to see all the amazing work being done for the unfortunate children and people across the world. So much love...chat soon. Levi and Mandy http://www.lncministries.org/

Monday, June 4, 2012

Gearing up for BADWATER!

We can use your prayers!! July 16th is the big day. See map below! Here is the Badwater Website
http://www.badwater.com/

Check out this Google Earth Link to see the race route on earth. http://www.badwater.com/route/badwaterroute.kmz. so cool!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sandy Days 4/14/12

Sandy...
is that girl,
Right?
The one who doesn't exist.
Or so you thought.
Suddenly I understand,
it was before her..
That this pain brought transformation in your faith.

Well that girl
she isn't real
and belongs to an unseen world.
It just doesn't fit
her face
at least not with an S.

Is it?
M
m
I
Right?

Oh...
Sandy...
as in the adjective?
AND
Describing a time past.
Recent, yes
but
Y?
never to be repeated.

sand..
Y,
is it
between blistering toes
beneath wild tangled hair
and
is it coming out my EARS!?
I watch it swallow our feet whole.
Now...and again
actually four times
too many
there it is stuck in sleepy eyes
your eyes
awakened
Me

M
I
awake?

I
M
that's what he said
I AM..

its me
With your tears upon my cheek.
Did you face him again this night?
The maker of the Sand.
When you realized the nightmare was over.
And the pain began to subside
Did you identify the sandman who plagues our dreams?
Or was it just you
and yourself
you were in battle against?

Shut eyes.
seeing it now...
Blind?
or in the dark.
Just in time.
The shelter was built.
Shaken from a storm.
Rain pouring down.
A glimpse of peace that first night
Before it all began

again...A
g
a
i
n...

It is you beside me
sleeping then awake
turning and tossing
as his comfort oozes from
you.
Inside you.
But not from your breath
or your constant slow heart beat.

It is something deeper
than the sand swallowing our feet
something
the blind man
can see
and it is
or was
sand in my eyes
wasn't it?

Another dream

No it's that commercial
of someone else's life
that passes in a moment
was forgotten until then
but
oddly visits me now
in
this quiet reflection

from yesterday..

Oh the Majestic
waves
SHOUT
I AM...
and the warm sun
in the perfect green day
it carried us
and
the cold away

Whispy wind
whipped in
untagling her curls
Or
M
I
ne
Were you there?
With the spirit
guided by
our Wonderful wind
Blowing away
the attempts
from the sandman again.

Awake now
We begin
But today already
grows dim.
Sandy days are gone...
But oneness grows at a pace no human could comprehend.

Mandy Mae

Monday, April 9, 2012

Br 135

Vivid Pictures of You Haunt my MIND 11/16/11

Its the familiar enchanted chase
that I race
like a
bounding deer
white tail
flashing danger as it goes.
These instincts are not my own.
Yet recognizable?
A distant howl
pushes beyond
what a mind can
understand.

The darkness closes around me
bringing the sounds
I've never heard
but echoing
memories
that remain
purposefully forgotten.

Loud whispers
ring clearly in my ears.
Why does my heart race again?
competing
with this mind
that never rests.

Pounding heart, beating into the ground
I encounter
the familiar blistering pain
strange it is
that I enjoy
it being more than skin deep.

I embrace the expected chill
that goes beyond my breath
to the depths of my bones.
When will it stop and
why must it exist?

Yet..
just now that
fleeting thought
wishing
it would never end.

What is this driving force that
that makes it feel so right?
creating insanity
within this
broken utopia
of solitude.

What am I enduring and creating
in this time,
wasted?
how long will it last?
Let it never end.

Animalistic, peace it is I suppose.
At what cost?
To whom do I toil 
for these meaningless
tests I face?
This race is beyond my control.

Alone in the woods
frantic glances from behind
hunted
by what?
And reminisce of
something
unexplained.

This gasping brings no exchange of air.
The never ending distance can not shorten the race
or fill its unintended space.
Why must it still be incomplete
despite the completeness it brings?

Lack of water
how then can I be drowning
deeper and deeper
I feel myself sink
with some foreign weight upon my back
my neck
Body broken
bent in half
I begin to cower
a predator
is closing in
This must be Fear?

An enchanting chase
Abandoned
I embrace
running from
what
to where
and from whom
I do not know.

So I leave it all
to create a brokenness
that was never intended
from the only
thing I am
assured of
that eventually
there will be an end.

Mandy Rizk

Fullness begins in the Reflections of a Moon

Footsteps - not in sync
   just yet
Stillness exists except
   the sight of you - just ahead
Purposefully out of reach
Unaware - that an
   interrupting silence
Summons this rythm
We cannot break nor perfect
But somehow continue to create.

Despite distance, vast space
   two beating hearts
are converging into one
Aligned tress, troden trails
natures silhoutte displays
something unspoken from the wind
Just a breeze - as if a
   whisper suggests
A simple majestic disparity between
   your pain and my peace

So this beckoning mind
   searches and seeks a
Warmth unavailable amoung
   the unending rows of evergreens
and rocky dead ended paths.
Tis the sun in this stillness
   that gives ease and rest
with no where to go
A want for nothing seen
Birds cry for the beginning
   and the end
to THAT which never fails and
   always bring Joy
A heart takes wait and sees
   the unseen - knowing this
sun may set too soon.
But darkenss will never
   overcome from within
Not in a place such a this.

Dig DEEP, Deeper than your
Blistering Skin or Broken Bones
FIND it, THAT!
That which
won't ever unbreak your heart.
AND Know it
Recognize it even in complete Blackness
   without the fullness of the moon
on a night such as this
Shut your eyes - see it right in front of you.

YES! There is is...
Yes...LOVE
YOUR LOVE,
touch it
taste it
know it
for it may last but a sun rise
remember this place - and listen as it
asks without speaking

What my love, do you run from?
Where shall you go that does not haunt?
What place do you chase within an empty heart?
Do you see that your feet, body, and mind, mimick my own broken life?
Can any of this be mended, replicated, or replaced?

What drives you in such a race?
And for what, to where, and for whom?
At what point does this present pain and broken body become enough?
Is it ever enough?
Should it be?

He is calling you Levi, when shall you listen?
What will be your answer?

For it is not for me to know
   or understand
My light has a different reflection
Distinctness
   amoung the living even
   to those with no rest
It will not be long now
Before the darkness
   comes upon us and a chill
Expected
But to to such anticipation
No anxiety could describe
Like screaming children
   lost in an endless night
your flesh will burn the death away.

I see it now - seeping in
creaping sliently within
   the spaces unattended to
   left undone
Purposefully
   unmade. Alone Before
Sunset. Guarded together
it must be embraced. Without
   explaination it's Beauty
Will shine through
Waiting - my skin
waits for warmth
But will not Win Nor Be
Freed. Will We? When
  my love, when?

Take me into the Night
   with strength coming
from somewhere else and
When we cannot go on together
When you feel you must stop - Just
   start again
Breathe yourself into the morning
   that begins
the promised ending
of a new beginning
from what
he has begun in you.

written by the love of my life, Mandy Rizk
12/10/12 Our first Race together..Reflections from Bartram

Friday, December 2, 2011

HCA Hope Fund

The HCA Hope Fund is an employee-run, employee-supported 501(c)3 charity formalized in July of 2005. It initially started as a very informal way to help one another but soon evolved to a formal non-profit organization. It is supported by employees allowing us to do what we do best, take care of others. The goal of the HCA Hope Fund is simple: to help HCA employees and their immediate families who are affected by financial hardship. This includes disaster, extended illness/injury, domestic violence, death of a loved one, and other special situations.
http://hcahopefund.com/
As an HCA employee, I am excited to raise funds for our very own Hope Fund as I prepare to run 135miles in Brazil. See below:)
Donations can be made through the Donate button to the right.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Charities we support

We are working to raise money through the Brazil 135 race for the Brazilian orphanage and Bolivian orphanage below. Please keep us in your prayers. Any advice or thoughts are much appreciated.

Brazil Missionary
http://www.hopeunlimited.org/index.html
Hope Unlimited ministers to the physical, intellectual, and spiritual needs of some of the world's most desperate kids - the street children of Brazil. Hope's vision  for Brazil was launched in 1991 when thousands of vulnerable street children were being systematically killed by gunmen largerly hired by local business leaders. Their purpose for these killings was to eradicate a "public nuisance" - street children.

Bolivia Missionary
http://www.casadeesperanza.info/website/index.php?page=het-project&hl=en_US
Casa de Esperanza, or House of Hope, provides a home to abandoned children and orphans, and offers them the education which could not be provided by their parents. The goal is to help these children grow and develop both in a physical and in a spiritual way.

Pinhoti 100

A 10 hr drive to get there the day before, we had a beautiful weekend in Alabama. A point to point 100 mi race from Heflin to Sylacauga, with 16,000 ft of elevation gain. It made for a very nice training run for Brazil. A little chilly and windy during the night time hours while on the ridge added to the Ultra running flavor. I survived, came in at at 29:04. But it made for a very grueling drive back to Florida. Again, it adds to the fun of Ultra running. Now, the next few days, back to residency, and much needed recovery time:)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Florida Society of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians Foundation


My name is Levi Rizk. I am an ultrarunner, and an osteopathic family medicine resident. I'm in my second year of training at St Petersburg General Hospital, FL. I am a member of the FSACOFP. I will be running the Brazil 135 mile ultramarathon in January of 2012.
I am raising funds for the FSACOFP foundation which promotes research, education and community support. I would greatly appreciate all donations.
To make it tax deductible, please make checks payable to: FSACOFP foundation
mail checks to: FSACOFP foundation
                       7101 Park St N., Seminole, FL 33777

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Brazil 135 Ultramarathon


Thoughts of applying to Brazil 135 have come up to my mind several times in the past while out in the mountains. This year, I have entertained the idea and contacted the race director with my resume. I was thrilled yet really scared when I received his reply a few days later:
Levi
I already have a meeting with the committee and after revising you resume...they decide to give the opportunity to have fun during 48 hours , running on the rain, fighting crocodiles, anacondas, chitas, mud, hill, pain, blisters, hungry.....and having fun.
CONGRATULATIONS YOU ARE ACCEPTED...

http://www.brazil135.com.br/pages/index.php


From the Brazil 135 webpage:
The Brazil 135 Ultramarathon is considered the most difficult continuous race in Brazil. The course route is on the Mantiqueira Mountains - ( A Sub Range of the Andes Cordillera ). The race is held on the most difficult segment of the Caminho da Fé - Path of the Faith, - the longest Pilgrimage in Brazil. It's inspired in concept the Badwater Ultramarathon in Death valley, California.
BR 135 takes place in the Serra da Mantiqueira mountains, with only 20 km of the 217 km being run without any inclination (so only about 12 of the 135 miles are flat...the rest is all uphill and downhill). The race boasts more than 10.000m (about 33.000ft) of elevation gain and approximately 9.000m (about 29.000ft) of elevation loss. By the finish line the runner will have completed a course that is analogous to climbing up and down Mt. Everest.