Two years ago, it might even have been this week, I made a crazy declaration at the front of Fitzroy that we would put an Over 50s Marathon Team together and even more outrageous, I would run! I was almost 17 stone at the time and a little out of breath if I had to rush up my stairs. It was an outlandish commitment and was not even in my thoughts thirty seconds before I thoughtlessly spouted it out! Well, next Monday the commitment will be fulfilled… and I will run the longest leg and maybe the next leg too! All for the Fitzroy 10:10 Build Fund for our Hall renovations to serve the community at home and also to build a school in Uganda with Field Of Life.
I am quite delighted to be at the point where a leg of the marathon is quite easy to me and that I might join Ian McMurray for the one after mine. So, if you were kind enough to sponsor me then please don’t consider the reasonably fit 52 year old that will be standing at the start line on Hillview Road itching to get going. Instead remember the overweight and very unfit 50 year old who set out on this adventure. When you are writing that cheque then think of that first half mile, eighteen months ago, when it was a real struggle. Remember the 210 runs, covering just over 700 miles, when I went from that half mile to eventually running 13.1 miles. Remember that that first half mile was at a pace of 11 minutes per mile and now I am breaking 9 minute miles for 7 milers. Remember that to achieve this change in Personal Bests has taken a more disciplined diet as well as running in the cold and the rain. Take all of that into account as you give what it might deserve and give it to a good cause.
Our Fitzroy 10:10 Build project is about two things. We want to reach out into the community where are Church worships in and also reach across the world. The Halls project can seem a little self indulgent. It will come in at around £1 million. Yet, that is far from ostentatious. We are mainly bringing our halls into the contemporary nature that they need to be in to fulfil a contemporary ministry. We long to be a community focus for the Holy Lands, Botanic Avenue and Queens University. It is a varied neighbourhood with very real needs and we are determined to make our contribution.
As well as making a contribution in our local area Fitzroy has always had a wider world vision. So, we are beginning a partnership with Fields Of Life to build a school in Uganda. We will hope that, as well as giving hundreds of teenagers an education, we will find ourselves in real partnership with an area of Africa that can be mutual beneficial to us all.
Anyway, that is what is going to benefit from anything that you might be kind enough to donate from this Marathon Relay. It is not why I have knocked my body into some shape but it might be a very useful outcome of it!
Cheques payable to: “Fitzroy Presbyterian Church”
and sent to:
10:10 Build Fund Marathon Team
26 College Green
BELFAST BT7 1LN