Robert de Castella claims that humans have evolved to run marathons. He believes that of all God’s creatures, we are the only ones with the genetic disposition to maintain a constant run over 42.2 kilometres. However, most of us are a long way from fulfilling that evolutionary potential and, in fact, stand (literally) in awe of those who attempt the feat.
Not only is it the concept of running the distance from outer Yarra Glen to Melbourne Central that defeats us before we start, but the training required day after day, week after week, month after month to condition the body to bring forth its gifted purpose. Rev Arnie Wierenga (pictured) from St. Margaret’s, Mooroolbark, believes he can do it in the Melbourne Marathon on 12 October.
Arnie has previously run two Melbourne half-marathons to support the Rubaga Youth Development Association (RYDA) in Uganda, an organisation St Margaret’s people have supported for 18 years. Earlier this year, on his 49th birthday, Arnie resolved to tackle the big one.
The congregation’s response was that if he was doubling the distance, they would try to double the number of sponsors gathered. So you are being asked to support too.
RYDA’s extensive work is centred on youth from orphaned or otherwise disadvantaged backgrounds. They are often found in the street, or in child labour situations, or are referred by government agencies. At RYDA they are trained in life skills and to government standard in a chosen trade. When they graduate they are assisted to find work.
Arnie believes running for RYDA is part of living his faith.
“A marathon is personally challenging, but it is minor in comparison to the challenges these young people have to go through,” he said.
For more information contact Doug Williams 9726 6968 or visit www.blackdouglas.com.au/ryda/14revruns.htm Doug Williams is available as a guest speaker for congregations and other groups.