Among 22,000 runners participating in this year’s Baltimore Running Festival will be 19 member of the Helping Up Mission running team (“Team HUM” as they are affectionately called). Led again, for the 3rd year in a row, by Executive Director Bob Gehman (running the half marathon), the team includes 13 men in our Spiritual Recovery Program (from all four phases), 1 graduate, 4 staff and a member of our board of directors. They will be running distances from 5K (3.1 miles) to the full marathon (26.2 miles). Many of our guys are also part of the Helping Up Mission Back on My Feet Baltimore running organization – our team is known as “THUMB” (Team Helping Up Mission Baltimore)!
This is our 3rd year involved in the Festival and it will be a big event for us here. Beyond our runners, there will be close to 150 Helping Up Mission program members and staff who will be at the start and finish lines – and everywhere in between – to help Festival organizers make the event as meaningful as possible for every runner. In addition, the Running Festival is also a time when we ask our friends to help us raise money for Helping Up Mission’s annual fund which supports the daily needs of the 400 men who reside here every night. Our team will be running to help make the race of life a bit better for every one of those men. Want to meet a couple members of Team HUM? Check out this clip from WBAL TV-11 this week: http://www.wbaltv.com/r-video/25375990/detail.html.
While each runner will have his own series of challenges, they are really pretty insignificant in light of the challenges to get clean and make it through another day for the men and women suffering with addiction every day in this city. So whether we are having lots of fun participating on race day or just struggling to get to the finish line, we should all remember those who are struggling through a life or death race with addiction and we should do what we can to help make a difference for them.
So, if you are participating in one of the races – have a great time. If you are going to help run the event – thanks for being willing to give back. If you will be busy with other activities – just remember what it is all about for us down here. And, if you would like to help us in some way, just go back to the homepage and click on “Sponsor Team HUM” in the lower left-hand corner. And everybody can pray – pray for men and women struggling with addictions in this city to find hope, answers and empowerment for their everyday life through Jesus Christ.
One Race at a Time,
Pastor Gary Byers
Spiritual Life Director
PS If you want to know more about Back on My Feet Baltimore, you can go to their website at http://baltimore.backonmyfeet.org/baltimore-landing.html. Or you can just come down and visit their office on our campus at 1017 East Baltimore Street, 21202.
PSS Yes, I am participating (“running” is too strong a term) in the half marathon, like I said I would. Yes, I am glad to be participating again this year. No, I did not train this year either. Just in case you are interested in reading all my race musings over the past 3 years you can find them at (7/24/10; 10/13/09; 10/12/09; 10/7/09; 10/15/08).