Ministry for runners making God’s love real




It’s an energetic ministry that began with a morning run along Bayshore Boulevard 13 years ago. Hyde Park UMC member Bill Howard and Jim Harnish, retired senior pastor, formed the idea for “Running to Make God’s Love Real." Families, church members and friends have gathered each year since to join the annual Gasparilla Distance Classic in Tampa. Some of the group’s charter members have stepped across the finish line every year, one of them 89 years young.

Click an image to enlarge.

Bill Howard, one of the group’s founders, his son Billy and members of the Jones family are helping to keep the ministry running.
 
Dan and his mother Rose have run the race together since 2004. Rose is 89 years old.
 
 
Looking good! This was the 40th running of the Gasparilla race in Tampa, which this year included gold medal winners and the legendary Bill Rodgers.
 
Running to the finish! For those who train early mornings to night months at a time, there's nothing sweeter than the sight of the finish line. 
 
One current member found this message inspirational in a previous year. Thinking it said, "follow me to Hyde Park UMC" after just moving to Tampa, she did just that. That message has since been added.
 
Runners and supporters who actively participate each year take a moment to pose before joining the excitement of race day.
 
 
The group says a prayer for safety moments before heading out.
 
 
Supporters offer cold water, high fives and shouts of encouragement to the thousands of runners streaming down Bayshore Blvd.
    


Contact Us

The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church

450 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33815

(863) 688-5563 or toll free (800) 282-8011