A Run of Luck: The Shamrock Marathon

March 1, 2018

This Lent, Galilee is all about wellness and MOVING! Want to do something fast? Click on this link to support our pastor, Jason Duley, as he runs his second-ever marathon in support of Mercy Hospital in Sierra Leone.

Now that that’s done, let Pastor Jason explain why he’s running the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach on March 18.

“I used to dread running,” explains Jason. “But now it’s the best feeling, a sensation of true physical wellness. I feel God’s presence while I’m out there putting one foot in front of the other in God’s creation. I feel the ebb and flow of my breath, which I connect with the presence of the Holy Spirit. I feel energized!” 

“Wellness is important. It’s a blessing we wish not only for ourselves. We want good health for those we love. When our children were growing up, Jenn and I made sure they were healthy. We saw that they ate right (mostly) and had healthy habits (not too much TV or screen time). We took them to the doctor regularly. It’s what you do for the little ones that you love.”

Empty beds at Sierra Leone’s Mercy Hospital in Bo.

“But let me tell you, I went to Africa last year. Few of the children I met in Sierra Leone see a doctor. Hospital or clinic visits and regular healthcare are not common in a country that suffers from poverty on a scale unimaginable in the United States.”

“That’s why our partners at Mercy Hospital, which serves the poor community in the city of Bo, have launched an effort with mobile clinics that venture away from the city to serve the poorest of the poor in Bo’s surrounding villages. This is done in cooperation with churches of our United Methodist denomination. This is a Jesus thing, a compassionate outreach that truly saves lives.”

“I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to be able to help others by doing what I love, which is running,” says Pastor Jason. “My thing connects to a Jesus thing.”

Jason at the finish line of the North Face – Great Falls Trail marathon last year. He asked sponsors to support Mercy Hospital in that race, too, which was his first.

“My 2018 goal is to help fifteen children. I am asking for people to give $1 per mile, or $26 (a marathon is 26.2 miles). If 26 people do that (and I myself give $3 per mile because, after all, I’m the one running the miles), I will exceed my monetary goal of $750. The more sponsors I get, the more money goes toward doctor visits in and around Bo.”

“If you want to sponsor me, you can give at the YouCaring link that my wife Jenn kindly set up or you can give to the church online or by check. Write “marathon” in the subject line so we can make proper accounting.”

Jenn Duley is way more than Jason’s IT support, by the way. Our pastor’s wife says, “I’m a behind-the-scenes supporter of all Jason’s outdoor adventures and I’m glad he has activities to relieve stress and stay healthy. I’m so proud of what he has accomplished with his running, and he hasn’t been doing it for long! It is great to see how much he enjoys doing long distances, though 26.2 miles sounds too much like hard work for my liking!”

If you’re inspired by our pastor who has only been running for two or three years and is about to complete his second marathon, consider that you can do it, too! You can take a step toward better physical fitness and you can do it at Galilee!

This Lent, we’re offering the Galilee Wellness Challenge as a build up to our March 31 Wellness Challenge Run/Walk. You choose your level of exertion. Whether you want to run or walk a 5k/10k, or prefer doing the kid-friendly Fun Run or the Prayer Walk on the church grounds–we have an event for you. Let’s get together as a church to exercise and pray! It all begins Saturday morning, March 31 at 8:30. Sign up here.

“Marathoning is a community experience,” Jason says. “Racing is fun, even if I never aim to win (that’s not my skill level). While a marathon’s length is a good challenge, requiring months of preparation including a specialized diet plan, a race of any distance can increase your wellness and foster that community.”

“Come on out on March 31 and join us!”