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Registration begins Feb. 9 for Run for God 5k training program

FPS staff report

Lace up your shoes and get ready to run.
Registration days for the second Run for God - Carrollton class will be held at the Carroll County District Library, 70 2nd St., NW, Carrollton, Feb. 9 and 23 and March 9 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Classes start April 7 and will be held Sunday nights from 6-8 p.m. in the Family Worship Center, N. Lisbon St., Carrollton. Participants will train to run the “Run for Rosie” 5K June 29 in conjunction with the Carrollton Relay for Life.

Co-instructors Amy Risaliti and Bill Rosenberger, both of Carrollton, will present the second Run for God - Carrollton class, a 12-week training program designed to train participants to run a 5K with a Christian focus. 

Risaliti originally began running to reduce her risk of heart related issues and discovered she loved running.  She found an ad for Run for God in a running magazine and was intrigued.  Run for God was started by Mitchell and Holly Hollis with the mission, “Preparing people to be better witnesses for Christ...Physically, Mentally and Spiritually...”  Risaliti began the first class session in Spring 2012 with 55 members ages 7-61.

Rosenberger, who was in the middle of a weight loss program, was bored with walking on the treadmill.  “I wanted something more than walking,” he said.  “I wasn’t a runner but I signed up.” 

He trained and ran the 2012 Run for Rosie 5K.  Risaliti and Rosenberger both say a lot of people think they can’t run and surprise themselves. 

“The more I trained, the more determined I became to run the entire 5K and not walk,” stated Rosenberger.

Rosenberger and others from the group competed in the Akron Marathon as the “Run for God Squad” as a relay team, breaking the 26+ miles into five legs.  The team finished in just under four and a half hours.

Risaliti, who had competed in 5K and 10K races, asked members to volunteer to run a water station at the Canton marathon held before their scheduled 5K race. 

“This gave the students a chance to experience the race atmosphere before they ran,” stated Risaliti.  “We made signs and cheered to support the runners.  Several students’ children helped us at the event.”

In fact, Risaliti and Rosenberger are quick to say “Run for God” is a great family event.  You do not have to have any running experience and the class is open to students as young as first grade.  Risaliti encourages families to participate together, saying, “It’s a great time to pray and stay healthy together. 

Plus the kids helped encourage and push their parents.”  Risaliti’s husband and two sons competed last year.

Participating in Run for God is also a good way to meet people.  Risaliti and Rosenberger both agreed the group became friends and several continued to meet and run throughout the summer and fall, becoming like a “family.”

“I grew through teaching the class,” Risaliti explained.  “I am looking forward to this year.  To show how running relates to spiritual life.  There are ups and downs.”

Rosenberger agrees.  “It was amazing to watch my classmates cross the finish line.  So many thought they couldn’t do it.  And then see them work through setbacks and cross that line.  It was just amazing.”

Part of the Run for God mission is “...and to learn always to give God the glory for all we accomplish.”  Risaliti said she wanted to learn how to run for God instead of letting running be her God.  Through the program she found herself asking, “How can I run for God today?” She discovered it is wonderful to give for God, to share it with others and to learn not to run for your own achievements but learning to give God credit.

Rosenberger, who has come to love running, said, “I am excited to see another group of people find love for this sport and grow spiritually.”

Several students are joining the class again along with new members.  While the class is aimed to train participants to run a 5K, walkers are welcome.  “Anyone physically unable to run can still attend the class,” noted Risaliti.  “The goal is to do the best you can.”

Cost for the class is $45 for a manual and a moisture-wicking shirt.  Other goodies will be included throughout.  Last day to register is March 16.

For questions, contact Risaliti at amyrisaliti@yahoo.com or Rosenberger at billrosenberger@gmail.com.  A group page can be found on Facebook by searching for Run for God Carrollton.

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