04/20/2015 09:31 am ET Updated Apr 20, 2015

Faithful Runners: Why Churches Are Running Marathons For God

Maddie Meyer via Getty Images

At the start of the Boston Marathon next Monday, runners will congregate by a church that posts a banner with an appropriate Bible verse: “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.”

Many people of faith are taking this promise from Isaiah literally. Long a place where the faithful went to sit, churches are becoming a place where people go to run.

In Georgia, a layman started a program called “God on the Run” out of his garage; he's now sold 60,000 books in 49 states. Programs such as “Pew to 5K” mimic a secular training program called “Couch to 5K” and some churches are putting on their own races, either as fundraisers or to nudge their members into health.

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