ST. MARYS — Runners and walkers joined to participate in a local church’s run/walk event Saturday morning.
As part of Living Hope Assembly of God’s First 5K, a group of runners and walkers traveled 3.1 miles to help raise money for the church, which is located at 1130 Indiana Ave.
Organizer Glen Madden noted Saturday’s event was the first of its kind for the church.
“I was at an event back in April, and I had met a guy there,” he said. “It was a rainy, muddy day, and when we were coming down to the finish line, I had basically spent everything I had to pass this guy. We were going up a very grueling, uphill finish, and the guy kept saying, ‘C’mon brother, you’ve run too fast and too far for so long, you’ve got to finish strong, right here’s the finish line.’ I said, ‘Aw, man I’m going to be sick,’ and he said, ‘I don’t care if you puke down the front of yourself or puke when you get across the finish line, but we’ve run too fast and too hard and for too long to stop or to slow down now.’ And so I was so touched by that guy and the way he handled that. I’m not sure if he was a Christian man or not, but basically the Christian principles that we learn and that we teach at our church are to slow down and to take time for one another, and unfortunately I feel that we don’t do that.”
Passers-by on Saturday would have seen the runners along Ohio 116 or in a local housing area.
“The route basically went down to 116 and went through the Rolling Hills neighborhood,” Madden said.
To participate in the 5K, participants paid a $15 fee, which included a T-shirt, and had the chance at various prizes for top finishers. The proceeds from the event, Madden said, would be used toward outreach for the church.
“It’s going to be used for outreach here in the community,” Madden said.
“We said it would be rolled right back over immediately — missions are a great thing, but we thought it was important to do things right here, locally, so that’s what this money is going to do.”
He said the goal, in addition to supporting outreach, was also to get the church’s name out in the community.
“A lot of people have heard our name, Living Hope, in the community, but a lot of folks don’t realize — they know that we do the corn maze, we’ve got the Fall Harvest Festival with the corn maze coming up next month — but they don’t realize Living Hope is the church that does all of that,” he said. “We do the live nativity up at the canal with the animals and all that. A lot of the kids last year had complained that it was too easy ... This year, they listened, and they have put a very, very advanced course out. In fact, they were even joking they may have to put a team of people together to help folks out.”
Living Hope Assembly of God’s Fall Harvest Festival will be on Sunday, Oct. 14, featuring a worship from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., followed by hog roast at 12:30 p.m. and the festival from 1:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. featuring a petting zoo, hayrides, inflatable rides, a straw maze for small children, chili and hot dogs. The corn maze will cost $3 per person or $10 per family.