by Kaylin Carlson | 3-minute read


I love to run. It’s my time to decompress, pray and just be with God in his creation, doing something I believe he’s created me to do. Back in March, I was praying for a way to bring joy to others during COVID-19. While I was running, an idea popped into my head to create a virtual run. I wanted to give people something to look forward to, to have fun with and to bless the community during these challenging times. I’d charge a small fee to participate, make the medals myself and we’d donate everything to charity.

I made all kinds of award categories. Some “serious,” like the fastest 5k, 10k, or half marathon. Some weren’t so serious, like best bib design, best victory dance, best post-run selfie, and even shortest run. I called it “Kaylin’s Quarantine Run,” which quickly started to be called KQR.

Kaylin Carlson with a friend on an early run for Kaylin’s Quarantine Run.

I thought, at best, I could get 20 people, and donate maybe $300 to a local charity in Rockford. That was my vision of success.

Here we are, now in September. There have been not one, not two, but three KQR events. We’ve had over 240 participants total. People joined from other states — seven to be exact — and more than 30 cities. We have raised over $6,000 and given it all back to local charities:

That’s $6,600 total raised!

Words can’t describe the awe I am in. The response has been the most incredible thing. It is truly humbling to witness the way the Lord took this and multiplied it. How he took me and my tiny little vision, and made it his.

How much bigger…
How much better…
How much more amazing his plans were than mine. As we are talking about Nehemiah and how he followed a passion or vision that the Lord had put on his heart, I can’t help but think of this. This is not to brag on me. If this would have gone my way, I’d have stopped at 20 people and $300.

Kaylin Carlson helps lead worship in the Summerwood Amphitheater this past summer.

I wanted to tell this story to encourage people that, if the Lord has laid something on your heart to do or created a passion inside of you, don’t run away from it. His plans for whatever passion or idea he’s put in you are far greater than you could ever imagine, if you take a step out of your comfort zone and follow him.

Take the next step.
And the next.
And the one after that.
He will never disappoint.

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Karen Cooper McDaniel
Karen Cooper McDaniel
September 10, 2020 10:22 am

WOW! That is so amazing, Kaylin! HE is so good! May HE bless you for listening to HIS call. 🙂