Deciding to Run

"So we all agreed to choose men...who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." --Acts 15:25-26

Read: Acts 15

A 1996 study found that the risk of having a fatal heart attack during, or in the 24 hours following a marathon, was 1 in 50,000 -- a statistic researchers dismissed as insignificant. A full 13% of runners completing the 2002 Boston Marathon were found to be hyponatremic, a blood sodium deficiency that can result in vomiting, seizures or death. Long-distance runners regularly battle soft-tissue injuries such as plantar fasciitis, patellar tendonitis and shin splints. So why, exactly, do people commit to such a stressful, perilous feat?

Well, everyone has their reasons. PrayFit endorser Josh Cox, who holds the American record in the 50K, enjoys the catharsis that running offers. For others, it's simply motivation to train -- a quantifiable, physical goal with a discernible finish. Some just savor the challenge of testing their ability and measuring their will, one footfall at a time.

Despite the rationale, and considering the inherent dangers of distance running, it would seem foolhearted or, at the very least, ill-advised to commit to running 26.2 miles. But regardless of what takes marathoners to the starting line or what carries them through to the finish, the act of running the race is not, in and of itself, of great consequence. What is more remarkable is that these intrepid few, despite the risk, have decided to run at all.

--Eric Velazquez

Questions: Can you remember the moment you chose to follow Jesus? Was it an unpopular decision with family or friends? Have you ever felt like your faith is exercised at some risk? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Congratulations to the First Lady of PrayFit, Loretta Pena, for finishing this weekend's San Francisco Marathon with a time of 4:20:25, putting her among the top third of her age group!

DID YOU KNOW? In 2011, over 518,000 individuals started and completed marathons in the U.S. With a population of just over 311 million, that means 0.1 percent of the population has logged 26.2 miles on a competitive course.

>> 3 WAYS TO BE A BETTER RUNNER: Click here to learn the three main components you should have in your weekly running program, courtesy of elite ultramarathoner Josh Cox.

>> SIGN-UP: Join the nearly 10,000 others that receive the PrayFit Daily direct to their inboxes each morning. Click here to sign-up, or if you're already subscribed, help us continuing building the PrayFit Nation by sending the link to family and friends!