Run for God is a ministry that uses running as a means to learn and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ while understanding the parallels of endurance running and enduring faith. Our mission is to prepare people to become better witnesses to Christ physically, mentally and spiritually. Programs provide practical training plans aimed at running either a 5K, 10K or Half-Marathon, but with a Christian focus. Although people run for many different reasons, these programs are for those who want to make God the center of their lives—or need to be reminded to do so. It is not a competition against others, but rather a personal challenge for each individual.
The Run for God – The 5K Challenge is a 12-week program designed specifically for those who have never run. It is for people of all ages and running/walking abilities, with the goal event at the end of the training being a 5K (3.1 mile) race. Weekly running topics include footwear, nutrition, injuries, stretching, and with guest speakers invited for select topics. Weekly faith topics draw upon the parallels between running and faith.
The Run for God – 10K / Half Marathon Challenge is a 12-week program designed around individuals with a basic “5K” running fitness, although most participants will never have run much more than 3 miles. Bible study discussions again draw upon parallels between endurance running and enduring faith (fears, obstacles, discipline, endurance). The training culminates in the participation of a 10K or half marathon race.
The Run For God shirt is a major tool of this ministry. Wherever the shirts have been worn, they have invited an opportunity for conversation with others about our running and faith journeys. Run For God participants are a part of community races such as the Westerville Rotary 5K and Rudolph Run 5K. Opportunities are also sought to serve others in the running community while bearing witness to Christ. Such events have included managing hydration stations for the Capital City Half Marathon, Emerald City Half Marathon, and OSU 4-Miler.
The annual Steps of Faith 5K is a Run For God inspired event held in the Westerville area that is the goal race for the Run For God – The 5K Challenge class. The race is a partnership with the Heinzerling Foundation, a facility on the south side of Columbus providing residential housing to severely handicapped individuals. All proceeds go to the Heinzerling Foundation and Bradley’s House of Hope, a facility in Nicaragua serving special needs children and named after a former resident of the Heinzerling Foundation.
Comments from past Run For God participants:
"Run For God has changed my life!"
“Folks of all ages, shapes, sizes were so blessed to come together for this common cause. The class was comprised of a group of really great people. It was a very unique and satisfying experience. I am so grateful to have been part of it”
“The class helped me to realize it's a lot easier than I thought to see/hear God in my everyday life. The class taught me that it's ok to let it be known that I am a Christian and the journey of figuring out how to be a better one is my journey- at my own pace. And I am ok with that.”
“Though I have been a Christian for quite some time, I continually need to be reminded that I don't get through this life on my own. I need God's presence and the witness of other Christians around me to stay pointed in the right direction.”
“It has made me want more. I am so proud of being part of this class, and so proud to tell my family and friends about my experience - running through bible study.”
How do you get involved? Register for the next Run For God class. Volunteer with the group at hydration stations. Run in community races. Contact Ben Reed for more information.