Riverland Hills Baptist Church is offering a 12-week learn to run program for the community. Run for God combines a weekly Bible study with group training sessions to prepare participants to run a 5k (3.1-mile), an 10k (6.2-mile) or a half marathon (13.1-mile) road race. A 5k walking program is also available. Individuals who complete the program will run or walk in a local road race on May 7 or May 14.

The program meets three times a week at the church, located at 201 Lake Murray Boulevard, on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 pm, starting February 14. The Bible study illustrates the parallels between endurance running and the endurance required by one’s faith. The program includes group training sessions where participants run and walk with the support of their group.

Run for God is targeted to beginners—absolutely no experience is required. The half marathon program is targeted to individuals who can already run a distance of seven miles. Adults and children 7th grade and older (with a parent) are invited to participate. The $70 program fee for the 5k and 10k includes a book, two race shirts and entry into the Get In the Pink Run, a local road race held in downtown Columbia. The half marathon fee is $65, which includes the race entry fee, two race shirts and the option to purchase a book. The deadline to register for the program is February 7.

“Since we first started this program in 2011, we’ve introduced more than 500 people to the sport of running,” says Run for God coordinator Jeanna Moffett. “This new recreation ministry can improve both the spiritual and physical aspect of people’s lives and can make a tremendous difference in their overall health and well-being.”

For more information, contact Barbara Kirby at Riverland Hills Baptist Church at 803-772-3227 or Jeanna Moffett at 803-407-4445. Register online at http://riverlandhills.org/rec-run.asp.