Stories And Inspiration

Run for God Group to Join Yadkin GO FAR Event

Submitted by Anonymous on Oct 12th 2015 - 8:00AM. | Perma Link


Run for God members are training for the Yadkin County GO FAR 5K on Nov. 21.

They don’t meet afterschool, but they still have plenty of excitement, plenty to learn, and goals to make. They’ll push themselves too. For weeks they’ll prepare mentally, physically, and spiritually for the fall Yadkin County GO FAR 5K.

A group of about 35 runners, mostly from Collide Church in Yadkinville, are training for the 5K through Run for God, which takes runners to their first 5K through faith and endurance. This group of adults is using the Yadkin GO FAR 5K as its culminating event.

The Yadkin County GO FAR program continues to grow since its 2010 beginning. This fall all eight elementary schools, both middle schools, and the nontraditional school with elementary and middle grades are participating, according to Jessica Wall, coordinator for Yadkin County GO FAR and assistant director with the Yadkin County Human Services Agency.

“I like how excited it gets the students about running,” Wall said. “I run so I know how hard it can be to get pumped about running three miles. But they bring so much excitement and energy on race day. It’s contagious.”

Wall sees the benefits of GO FAR. “I think [the kids] learn the importance of regular self-maintenance, that we exercise on a regular basis to keep ourselves in top shape.”

Jamie Reavis wanted to get the Run for God group in on the excitement. “I love the mindset of GO FAR, which stressed the importance of physical activity,” said Reavis, coordinator for Run for God and a pastor with Collide Church. “It was a natural match for us in many ways.

“We really wanted to get more adult participation in the race for the kids to be able to see adults getting out and being active and having fun exercising,” Reavis said. “I believe that it’s not just the students who need to be active—it’s everyone.”

Similar to the GO FAR program, the Run for God group trains for the culminating Nov. 21 event once a week for 12 weeks. “The participants meet one day a week to study the Bible, get information on how to run, such as nutrition, proper shoes, etc., and actually train together,” Reavis said. The participants then train two other times a week on their own.

The group varies in experience, ability, and age. “The thing I enjoy most about this particular group is the support system that’s in place,” said Rick Houston, Run for God program co-leader. “Nobody runs or walks alone. Everybody encourages one another.”

Houston knows what that support means.

He came to running while working on a book about the Space Shuttle program. He was able to try the Space Shuttle Simulator at Johnson Space Center in Houston. “Although it was one of the highlights of my career, I was unable to buckle one of the safety harnesses due to my oversized belly,” Houston said. “I was crushed and since that day, I have lost approximately 110 pounds through running, walking, and regular exercise classes at our local Y.”

GO FAR has special meaning to him. The Yadkin 2010 GO FAR race was the first 5K he ever participated in. He walked the entire way.

The next year he joined a training group and set a goal to finish in 30 minutes. “With the encouragement of my coaches and fellow trainees, that’s exactly what I did,” he said. Houston then helped coach a group at the YMCA for the 2014 GO FAR event.

Now he leads the Run for God devotionals each week and shares in coaching the workouts.

“I believe running and faith go hand in hand,” Houston said. “Both require dedication and steadfast perseverance. Neither is a ‘sometimes’ activity. Both require a daily commitment.”

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