LIFE Runners

Fitness and exercise are perennial causes that everyone can get behind across the spectrum of ideologies, right?

Sort of. Kathryn Jean Lopez explains:

As I was watching Phineas and Ferb with three of the fittest under-ten-year-old boys in America, there was the first lady, recommending movement and fitness. It’s certainly not a bad message. And if Michelle Obama is looking for someone to lead the training, Lieut. Col. Pat Castle would be more than happy to step up.

The first lady might not be so happy about the direction in which the colonel would lead his charges, however — he’d lose her with his group’s slogan, “For Life!” Castle, currently stationed at Scott Air Force Base near St. Louis, co-founded LIFE Runners (LIFE stands for Living In Faith Exchange) in 2008 with brother in arms Rich Reich, a chemical-research officer at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida. The group’s mantra is “Keep the faith, respect life from conception to natural death, run so as to win.” Admirably marrying conviction to habit, LIFE Runners exists to “raise funds, awareness, and prayers for pro-life activities,” as Castle puts it, “while training for and racing in marathons.” On the runners’ jerseys, a simple line: “REMEMBER The Unborn Jer 1:5.” (“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”)

Presumably, that’s where Michelle Obama may have a point of departure, where scripture applies to life.

This is inspiring, at a time when we need inspiration.

With runners from 19 American states and countries as far away as Turkey and Kenya, LIFE Runners competes in one half or full marathon each year. The group has been represented at marathons in Chicago, the Twin Cities, and Sioux Falls. It gets its energy from its indefatigable leader; Castle is the kind of character who puts his heart and soul into every moment, as if it could be his last. What keeps him moving? “Fishes and loaves,”…

You can help them multiply by spreading the word.

I’ve learned lately how important it is to put your heart and soul into every moment, taking nothing for granted.


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