18 April 2024

‘Running gives me time to reflect and pray’

Chris Goldsmith

A photo of Chris Goldsmith

Chris Goldsmith (Romford) shares why he’s taking part in the London Marathon this week.

My family has deep ties to Romford Corps: a member of the Goldsmith family has been at the corps since my great-grandfather in 1908. I think that, like many people who grow up in the Church, I cannot pinpoint a singular moment of conversion, but my faith was nurtured as a child. As I grew, so did my understanding of God and what it means to be a Christian.

Romford Corps is my spiritual home, but it has also always been a place of friendship and connection. And, for quite a few years, also a place of fitness as I donned my Romford SA football shirt to play in the local church football league! 

I started running in my late twenties as a new way to challenge myself. My first foray was my local Parkrun. That Saturday morning run became the start of a new hobby. Weekday evening runs were added to the schedule and 5k runs segued into 10ks, then half-marathons, until I signed up for the 2020 Manchester Marathon. It was due to take place in April, but was – understandably – called off.

However, my running habit was a godsend in those difficult Covid-19 lockdown months. Running has a positive impact on my mental health. Going out for a run helps me shake off the stress of the day and gives me time to reflect and pray.

When the 2020 marathon was rescheduled for October 2021, I was finally able to put my training to the test. Since then I have completed two more marathons, but it has always been a goal to complete the London Marathon.

Last year, I reached out to the fundraising team to see if the Army had any charity spaces and to ask whether the monies I raised could be donated directly to my corps. When they confirmed both, I was really pleased. Knowing that the money I raise will help the community work at my corps has given me extra purpose and motivation.

It’s been really encouraging to be supported by the corps – there are two other members who are running and raising money too! Sharing our training tips and keeping each other motivated has been great.

My training is now in the final stages and I’m eagerly anticipating the big day. I would encourage anyone who’s ever thought of running the London Marathon to consider running on behalf of the Army, as it’s great to raise money for projects close to your heart while also giving yourself a challenge. And, if you’re in London on Sunday 21 April, look out for the ‘Sally Army Striders’ vests and cheer us on!

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A photo of Chris Goldsmith

Chris Goldsmith


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