5am, January 28, 2023 - Sac River Mountain Bike Trails - Springfield, MO
Trail runners and volunteers began arriving well before dawn for Missouri Baptist Children’s Home’s first-ever The Bleak Midwinter endurance run. Inspired by a passionate family of MBCH supporters and bolstered by a new Springfield-area trail running club, this event was developed in under two months and culminated in a delightful and successful day.
Runners signed up for One, Three, Six or Twelve hour challenges and ran, hiked, or walked their way around a 4 mile circuit as many times as they dared. At the completion of each lap, runners were rewarded with the sound of their supporters ringing cowbells and the aroma of fresh carbs being prepared on the griddles. With a beautifully marked course winding through the trees and creeks of Springfield’s Sac River Trail system and the least-bleak winter weather conditions imaginable, this event truly lived up to it’s mission: to introduce MBCH to new friends, to acknowledge the grueling moments of life and to offer some encouragement in the midst of them.
Despite, or maybe because of, the harsh winter conditions, the atmosphere of this trail running event was nothing short of celebratory. Truly fun! Beyond the more arduous six and twelve hour runs; one and three hour options made this event accessible for runners and participants of all types, even families looking to hike and hang out. Volunteering with the Bleak Midwinter was just as fun, with some working from sunrise to sunset and others for just an hour or two. All spent their time serving and eating great food, ringing cowbells, and encouraging runners. Both participants and volunteers, received a Bleak Midwinter stocking cap, while six and twelve hour runners earned what is arguably the most unique race trophy in modern history, a Bleak Midwinter Crow!
Planning for the next edition of The Bleak Midwinter is well underway.
Ultra-distance competitors know that at some point their physical strength and fuel will fail, leaving them to depend solely on their own spiritual and mental readiness. The same is true for each of us in our Christian walk, and definitely true for families in need of restoration. Life’s most poignant moments require a spiritually healthy heart and will eventually demand that we lean upon our Heavenly Father. Most often this support is found though our loved ones as the living and active Body of Christ. Let’s be that support for each other at home, and everywhere we go.
For more information about this or next year’s races email SpecialEvents@MBCH.org. To learn how MBCH can support your church’s efforts to serve families or for general inquiries about our mission and ministry, call 1-800-264-6224 or visit our website at www.MBCH.org.
Special thanks to this year’s sponsors:
Second Baptist Church of Springfield, Heartland Racing, Ozark Mountain Goats, Ridgecrest Baptist Church, Blue Duck Marketing
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