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Vicars to run in York Marathon
A QUARTET of vicars will be swapping their dog collars for running shoes and instead of a regular Sunday in the pulpit, will be taking part in the race.
The four men of the cloth – The Rev Nick Bird from Dunnington, The Rev Joe Kinsella from Rillington, The Rev Taff Morgan from Terrington and The Rev Christian Selvaratnam from York - range from first time joggers to experienced marathon runners, and are raising money for a variety of causes.
Mr Bird, who is Rector of Rural East York and is running in aid of the Martin House children’s hospice at Boston Spa, said: “A couple of years ago I began to realise how unfit I was.
“So I put on my shorts and went for a run. From the rectory to the end of the village is not far, but you would have thought I’d run miles, seeing the state I was in.
“And now I’m aiming to tick something off my bucket list: a marathon. The things one has to do to get a relaxing Sunday morning off!”
His colleague Mr Selvaratnam is curate at St Michael le Belfry, where service times have been changed so the congregation can cheer him on as the race passes the church doors.
For Mr Morgan, Rector of the Howardian Group of parishes in Ryedale, York will be his tenth marathon and comes 30 years after he set out on his first, in Nottingham in 1983.
He has not run a distance race since he arrived in York in 1998, but decided to take on the marathon despite his joints “starting to groan and moan”.
He is raising money for the churches in his parish and the RNLI.
“My congregations will be helping me to pasta load on the Saturday evening in Terrington Village Hall and then will come along and support on the day,” Mr Morgan said.
It will be Mr Kinsella’s third marathon attempt, and he says he expects it to be his slowest as training has taken a back seat since the birth of his son, Thomas, five weeks ago. Raising money for Yorkshire Cancer Research, he said he will be pleased just to complete the race.
• St Michael le Belfrey, next to York Minster, is hosting an event called #TheRace to coincide with the marathon. The usual 9am and 11am services have been replaced with a combined outdoor event and from 10am there will be a special celebration service in church with bacon butties.
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