Added on 08/07/2013
Church of Ireland ordinand, Alastair Donaldson, has commenced his epic challenge to run 52 marathons in eight and a half weeks, spreading the Gospel as he goes. The 31 year old, who has just finished his first year at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute, left his home town of Crossmaglen on Monday 1 July and is currently running through the Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough.
Alastair’s 1,298 mile journey will take him on a lap of the island of Ireland. He has taken part in five marathons over the last seven years but his summer challenge will see him run an average of 26 miles a day, six days a week for eight and a half weeks. He will be supported by other runners at various stages on the route and is inviting local runners to join him along the way.
He is accompanied by a support van which is being driven by various volunteers including fellow ordinands, CITI staff and his sister, Janice. At night he and his team are generally given hospitality by well wishers along his route. On arrival in each town they hand out leaflets and talk to passers by.
“We’re very relaxed. Some people are interested in the idea of running around Ireland and others are happy to talk about the message we bring,” Alastair explains.
“There is a lot of good will in general. Sometimes you would nearly believe that people have become anti everything in this country and you would think they would appreciate being given information about the Gospel. But I have found that people are pleased to talk to you. We’re in a landscape of feeling against all things Church but we’re trying to share the Gospel, not flogging a Church,” he adds.
International mission agency, Crosslinks, are partnering the ordinand on his venture and hope to be able to link with a number of churches across Ireland.
Alastair ran from Greystones to Arklow om Saturday where he had a rest day on Sunday before setting off for Ferns on Monday 8 July. He will then circumnavigate the rest of the country arriving back in Crossmaglen on Thursday 29 August.
Photo: Alastair Donaldson is pictured in Greystones with Gabriel Fahey from Stillorgan.
For further information please contact:
Diocesan Communications Officer
Dublin & Glendalough