By Kimberly Bennett
O’FALLON – Last Saturday, O’Fallon First United Methodist Church hosted its third annual Running 4 God 5K, co-organized for a second year in a row by church members Rob Stoelzle and Linda Gruchala. Before the race, participants and volunteers gathered in the parking lot for final registration, prayer, fellowship and stretches provided by Chiropractic Plus.
Though it was predicted to rain throughout Saturday morning, the forecast didn’t keep the sun from shining and, thankfully, no rain fell during the race. It was slightly muggy from the higher humidity, but nothing kept the 5K from starting on time.
About thirty minutes after the 5K walkers began their trek, running participants lined up along Southview Drive, prepping to run for God. Before each heat, the participants began the 5K in prayer to bless the race, and then it was “On your mark! Get set! Go!” And the participants took off, each running or walking at their own pace. Some ran for the competition, and others chose to use the 5K as a great way to walk with friends, family and pets.
Winning gold Running 4 God medals and placing first place for Men’s Best All Around was Aidan Cutter with a time of 21:23s and for Women’s Best All Around, MacKinzie James (22:11s). The race’s full results, which were timed and recorded by Toolen’s Running Start, will be available on their website within the next few weeks.
All proceeds raised from the 5K will be donated to East St. Louis’s Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House and Beacon Ministries in Belleville.
“Our 5K turned out to be a wonderful event. It was a great group effort for a fantastic cause that will help families in our community. Proceeds will go to the Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House and Beacon Ministries, and I thank all of the volunteers, participants, and sponsors for their contributions,” said Rob Stoelzle, co-coordinator of OFFUMC’s Running 4 God 5K Race.
The church would like to recognize the event’s Platinum and Gold Sponsors and thank them for their support. Platinum sponsors were: O’Fallon Weekly, Bel-O Cooling & Heating, and Salvatore Cincotta. Gold sponsors were: John Grissom-Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Counseling Associates of Southern Illinois – Rob Stoelzle, MSW, LCSW, C&C Sports, and Carrollton Bank.
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