Running group takes off at church

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 June 2013 at 12:00 am

80 people have participated in ‘Run for God’

Photo by Tom Rivers – Some members of the Run for God group at Albion Free Methodist Church get ready for a 5-kilometer run on Sunday. The group will be running in Saturday’s Strawberry Festival race at 8 a.m. That includes 5k and 8k options.

ALBION – They get together every Sunday and often on Fridays, supporting each other in prayer, and then lacing up their running shoes for a jog along the canal.

The Albion Free Methodist Church has a “Run for God” group that meets regularly to run. But before they do, the group’s leaders share a short Bible lesson and then take prayer requests.

About 80 people have participated in Run for God during the 12-week program that culminates on Saturday at the Strawberry Festival in Albion. Many of the runners will complete the 5-kilometer or 8-kilometer course. (To sign up for the race, click here.)

It will be the first race for the many in the Run for God program, which starts with walking and then adds jogging. The group ranges in age from 6 to 82.

“For beginners, it’s easier to start in a group,” said Sheila Lemcke of Albion. “I like the accountability.”

Lemcke, 35, started running a year ago. It was difficult at first, but now she loves it.

She is part of a contingent from the Cornerstone Church in Hulberton that is running the program with the Albion church. Most of the Run for God participants aren’t members of the Free Methodist congregation.

Lemcke’s mother-in-law Peggy has been a committed participant. She has opted against running, but has picked up her walking pace.

“It’s not predicated on how fast you go,” said Brian Krieger, one of the program’s leaders. “Everyone goes at their own pace.”

The church first started Run for God last year and 35 people finished the race. Many of those runners kept running during the summer and 11 of them ran a half marathon together in September.

“You’re running with a group of people,” Krieger said. “You’re not on your own.”