Clinton group on the run for God

By Emily M. Hobbs

May 3, 2014

Locals from Grove Park Baptist Church are teaming up to work on a running regimen with a focus on God and preparing for a 5K for June 7.

“It’s similar to a couch to 5k program, but has a devotional that goes with it,” said Megan Scronce, an art teacher at Sampson Middle who is leading the program.

“This is our second Run for God, and we will have another one again in the fall,” added Scronce.

“Run for God” is a book by Mitchell Hollis, and Scronce and a group at Grove Park Baptist Church are working on training for the upcoming 5k

“He also has other books for a 10k, a half marathon, and a triathlon,” said Scronce in an interview Wednesday.

“My friends wanted to do a 5k,” said Scronce. “At first we were going to train on our own.” Scronce and other members of the church teamed up with other locals to start this running regimen and in the process build their faith through working out their physical, mental and spiritual muscles.

“We were all doing our own thing,” Scrone explained. “I was running on my own. My sister found this Bible study.”

“This Bible study prepares you physically, mentally, and spiritually to run a 5k,” said Scronce. “He wrote that he realized that God gave us this body, and we needed to make our mental bodies ready for God.” She explained that one part, like the physical body, may get less attention than the physical bodies because so may be intimidated by exercise.

“Sometimes people are intimidated if they don’t work out or haven’t worked out,” Scronce confided, going further to say that people would be quick to go to church if they felt they needed spiritual growth, but perhaps not put that same kind of effort into their bodies.

“This helps folks say I am ready to go,” said Scronce, noting that the author mentioned training for a marathon as part of the process.

“During his marathon training he said in the book that he would not miss a day of training,” she explained. “He said that one of his friends called him out on it, and told him that running had become his God. Then he and his friend realized that he needed to combine the two.”

That combination is what defines the book “Run for God”. The program focuses on running for a certain amount of time instead of a certain distance.

“It opened my eyes to the fact that you don’t have to leave God out of any part of your life,” said Scronce. This book has brought together a group of believers and it has been helpful for her to get to know others who run at the same pace.

“This is perfect for new people who don’t have a group of Christian friends,” she said. “It’s not about distance. We look at the time, and it’s not just for runners. My mother is not a runner, she walks.” Scronce said that some in the group don’t run at all, but they use the scheduled running segments to power walk.

The program breaks the run down into running and walking segments and intersperses them.

“There is also an phone app which journals your run and has a scripture reminder,” said Scronce. Each week there is a lesson that the group does together, and two more lessons that the individuals do on their own. Then when the group reconvenes at their next meeting they review what was in the lessons that they did on their own the week before. The program is a 12-week program.

Other information in the book that is included are items like tips for someone who has never run a race before and running ettiquette.

“We focus on the time instead of distance because you will end up covering more,” she explained. “We will have our 5k this year on June 7 and we looking for an early race.”

The first time they did this they had around 20 people and this time they had around 50 people at their first meeting.

“This has really grown into a ministry,” said Scronce. They had their first race last year in Smithfield at the Turkey Trot.

“It was a witness at the race,” said Scronce. People were asking them who they were and what Run for God was about she said. They team was easily identified by their bright green shirts with the logo on them.

The group runs around the parking lot at Grove Park Baptist Church.

“We didn’t want anyone to feel behind,” said Scronce. Since the running is based off time, and not distance, the group is able to stay in the area together.

“This is between you and Him,” said Scronce. “Your walk is completely different than mine. I have made friendships I would have wanted to make but wouldn’t have had the opportunity.”

Right now the group meets on Monday nights at Grove Park and they are planning on starting up another 12 week training session in the fall. Participants need to get their book and have some good running shoes. For more information you can call the church at 910-592-3937.

Emily M. Hobbs can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 122. Follow us on Twitter: @SampsonInd