More than 400 Seventh-day Adventists and friends recently ran across parts of the coastal city of Santa Marta in northern Colombia during the annual race to promote healthy living under the church’s “Let’s Move to Live” and “I Want to Live Healthy” initiatives.
Adventist delegations and friends from cities across the coastal region gathered early on Sunday, October 6, to do warm-up exercises and promote health as they invited onlookers to join the 3.7-mile (6-kilometer) race. It is the third event organized by the church in the Atlantic Colombian Conference (ACC) region.
“Our objective here was to promote a healthy lifestyle with a sporting event and create an interest in sports for children, youth, and adults,” said Joel Revollo, health ministries director for the ACC and main organizer of the event. “We wanted to allow for a family day with different church delegations and their friends across the Atlantic conference.”
Coined as “Ocean Olympics,” the race was also an opportunity to share the love of God through books on health and hope and the distribution of hundreds of copies of a magazine on breast cancer prevention, organizers said.
Awards were given for winners in the children, youth, adults, senior, and recreation categories.
Kevin Pájaro, winner in the youth category, was among a group of 40 who were invited by church members to take part in the race. It was the first time that Pájaro had joined a church activity.
“What a great idea to motivate everyone to live a healthy lifestyle,” Pájaro said. “This was so well organized.”
Revollo said it was important to get as many involved as possible from outside the church in the event. “They are our friends, and it is the field that Jesus has left for us to show the hope of salvation.”
Among those taking part in the race were three persons with special needs who completed the race in their wheelchairs, Revollo said. “We were so delighted to have them join us.” It was not only about encouraging them to finish the race but also to allow for the inclusion of people with physical challenges, Revollo explained.
Church leaders thanked sponsors and government agencies for providing security during the race.
Mauricio Buitrago, health ministries director for the church in northern Colombia, congratulated church leaders in the ACC region for their annual event promoting the Adventist world church’s Let’s Move to Live campaign.
“The more than 21 million Seventh-day Adventists around the world are working in favor of moving to live,” Buitrago said.
The church in the Colombian Atlantic coastal region will continue promoting a healthy lifestyle to its members and friends through activities to improve eating habits, physical exercise, favorable environmental elements, and many other aspects that involve health in a wholistic way, Revollo said.