ISPENT an inspirational hour, in glorious sunshine, on Staveley playing field the other week.

Around me people stretched and warmed up or cooled down and a Samba band got everyone enthused.

I was experiencing the Garburn Trail, an annual event during which people compete in a 10km or 17km trail race, with short races for children.

As runners approached the finish line the band drummed harder, the crowd cheered and clapped and even the tired and injured crossed the line without looking back.

Even I, with a running history that can be best described as not far, not fast and not recent, felt inspired by their determination and the supportive atmosphere.

St Paul refers to the Christian life as a race in which ‘forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.’

Running any race is not easy, but with the support and encouragement of others we can keep going.

When running the Christian race we can not only rely on the support and encouragement of our churches and Christian friends but on the power of the Holy Spirit, whose arrival we have just celebrated at Pentecost.

I’m not sure if you are inspired to run the Garburn Trail next year, but I do know that with the Spirit’s help, we can all run the Christian race together.

The Rev Shanthi Thompson

Staveley, Ings and Kentmere Churches