Revd Peter in the Great Birmingham Run

Peter in the Great Birmingham Run

Running up Bournville Lane 

Thanks to everyone who has supported and sponsored me and Team St Francis in the Great Birmingham Run.

My final time was 2 hours and 14 minutes, which I was really pleased with.

So far we have raised just over £3,000. If you still wish to donate you can do so securely on line by clicking here.

 

Thought for the Day:  Reflections on the Half-Marathon

30th October 2011

Last Sunday morning I took part in the Great Birmingham Run. It was the first time that I have ever done anything like that and it was a fantastic experience.  Now I have never been much of an athlete and the last time I did any serious exercise was at school. Then, back in May, someone persuaded me to enter the half-marathon.  I thought it would give me the challenge I needed to train properly and really get in shape. I also thought that I could get sponsored and raise some much-needed funds for our church community work. Though I must admit, having accepted the challenge, I did begin to wonder if it was really just an expression of my mid-life crisis as I felt the need somehow to prove myself physically.

Anyway I signed up, went to a coaching session, downloaded a training plan and started running – gradually building up my distances week by week. I started being able to do 2 miles, by the end of July I was up to 6, at the end of September it was 9, then a week before the race I did 12.

Looking back over these months of preparation I can see that the thing that made the biggest difference was when I announced in church that I was going to be taking part in the Great Birmingham Run. What happened was that several people said that they would do it with me, and in particular two people offered to train with me. So, most weeks, on my longer training runs, I had someone with me.  They kept me to it, encouraged me, gave me hints and tips and helped me through. I couldn’t have done it without them. So a special thanks to Brian and Arne and the rest of Team St Francis.

So what have been the benefits and what are the life lessons for me in this experience? Well apart from being half-a-stone lighter, and having a flatter tummy, and apart from learning how to use “justgiving.com” and raising some funds for our community work what I have learnt is this:

It’s great to have a challenge, a purpose and a goal to get you motivated

It helps to have a plan and someone to coach you

And what really makes the difference is having the encouragement and support of friends and neighbours to cheer you on and some close friends who will run the race with you.

It seems to me that in the journey of faith we need the same kind of things. In one of the letters of the New Testament is says: “Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses… let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith…”   We need to keep our eyes on the person of Jesus and the goal of God’s kingdom, it helps to have some teachings to live by and some wise teachers to learn from, but above all we need the support and encouragement of a community of fellow pilgrims to share the journey.