Running on faith and generosity

South Floridians have many options to get in shape as they share their faith at walk-a-thons, races and relays in 2009

Instead of cringing at the thought of joining a gym this January, why not just take a few steps for your faith instead?

Upcoming walk-a-thon, race and relay fundraisers are a great opportunity to start off the New Year a bit healthier as you support local ministries like Spanish River Church, Hope Women’s Centers and First Priority. As you strive to create a healthier lifestyle for yourself, you might also check a few other resolutions off your list, like getting involved in your community, making new friends or, better yet, impacting lives for eternity.

Saturday, Jan. 10
5K River Run
Run for a reason at Spanish River Church’s first 5K run and walk in Boca Raton. The race starts promptly at 7:30 a.m. at the church at 2400 NW 51 St. in Boca Raton. Children 12 and under can even participate in a Kids Fun Run starting at 8:30 a.m. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or you just want to walk to make a difference, you’re welcome to participate. Entry fees and sponsorship funds will go directly to help African children in Village Altonodji, Chad, with housing, bedding, clothing, food, necessities and schooling. The cost for this activity is $25 for adults and $20 for children 18 and under. For more information, call 561-994-5000.

Saturday, Jan. 24
Boca Christian Torch Run
Sign up today for the Second Annual Boca Christian Torch Run. The race will be held at 7:15 a.m. in downtown Boca Raton. The day’s events include a 5K, Youth Mile and Kids Dash. The 5K run or walk starts west of City Hall (at Crawford and Fourth Street), runs through beautiful neighborhoods and finishes at Boca Christian School. The Youth Mile begins at 8:15 a.m., and the Kids Dash begins at 8:30 a.m. The 5K entry fee is $20 in advance or $25 at 6 a.m. on the day of the race and includes a commemorative long sleeve shirt for the first 400 entrants. Come be a part of this wonderful family event sponsored by, Calvary Chapel West and Boca Community Church among others. For more information, visit


Sunday, Jan. 25
ING Miami Marathon
World Vision Miami is looking for volunteers and experienced runners to join Team World Vision during the ING Miami Marathon. If you want to tackle the entire marathon (26 miles) or half of the marathon, you can raise funds and sponsors for needy children in Latin America. You can also host fundraising activities before the marathon or develop a fundraising website to invite family and friends to sponsor a child or give a donation. The race starts at 6:15 a.m. at the American Airlines Arena at 601 Biscayne Blvd. For more information about joining Team World Vision, e-mail Raul Hernandez at

Saturday, Feb. 7
Race for Faith
All profits from the 5K Race for Faith will benefit First Priority, a non-profit organization that equips and empowers students to share their faith in Jesus Christ on local public school campuses. Join the team by walking or running and making an impact in the lives of teenagers at 8 a.m. at Okeeheelee Park located at 7715 Forest Hill Blvd. in West Palm Beach. Registrations prior to the event are $20, and on the day of the event they’re $25. Last year, more than 1,000 people participated and raised more than $15,000 for First Priority. For more information, visit

Saturday, Feb. 7
Family Values 5K
It’s absolutely free to sign up for the Family Values 5K, but any money you raise will go to support Sheridan House Family Ministries, led by Dr. Bob Barnes. Event registration begins at 8 a.m., and the race begins at 9 a.m. at 1700 S Flamingo Rd. in Davie. For more information, call Amy Evans at 954-414-3386.

Various dates in March, April and May
Relay for Life
Walk to support your church’s cancer Life, to fight with friends battling cancer or to celebrate with cancer survivors at one of the American Cancer Society’s many Relay for Life events. Events will take place at local venues such as North Miami Athletic Stadium (May 1–2), Quiet Waters Park (May 9–10), Holy Cross HealthPlex (April 24–25), The Galleria Mall (May 15–16), FAU (March 27–28) and the Americraft Expo Center (May 8–9). To find the event closest to you or to join a relay team, visit

Saturday, April 4
Taking Steps 5K
This 5K benefitting Kids in Distress starts at 7:30 a.m. at Markham Park at 16001 W State Road 84 in Sunrise. To be an event sponsor or volunteer, e-mail For details, call 954-442-0129.

Sunday, Oct. 18
Walk for Life
This grassroots-no-excuses-everyone-can-participate run and walk benefits the work of Hope Women’s Centers in Broward County. The Walk for Life is an “event walk” – not a per-mile marathon. Each walker chooses the distance that is comfortable for them. Some do one lap (1/4 mile) and some do the full 5K. More details to come. For more information, visit

Didi Williamson :