Pastor's marathons: works of faith

RUNNING

June 29, 1993|By Michael Reeb | Michael Reeb,Staff Writer

For the Rev. Simon Steer, pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, running and ministry always have been a marathon experience.

There's a bit of history here, too. His predecessor at Christ Our King, the Rev. Eugene Peterson, was a well-known Bel Air runner who did the Boston Marathon in 1986. Peterson also did a marathon term at Christ Our King, serving as pastor for 29 years.

"He was a very keen runner, indeed," Steer says in the heavily laced dialect of his native Great Britain.

But on a more personal note, Steer sees a link between his ministry and running.

"I think in terms of the dedication to training in running and the single-minded dedication to the task of ministry, there is a comparison," Steer says. "Ministry is often linked to the concept of marathon service through the church.

"Running is a central part of the New Testament's concept of faith. We're told to run by the apostles as a testament of our faith. It [running] is a great symbol of the Christian faith."

In this sense, Peterson is not his only role model.

"My personal mentor in life and faith is Eric Liddell, star of the 1924 Olympics and the star of the film 'Chariots of Fire,' " Steer says. "He combined his Berlin running with his missionary work. I went to the same high school as he. I grew up running on Eric Liddell's playing fields.

"As a pastor, that's always inspired me. He's always been a great role model, a servant of God."

Steer has run nine marathons, including three Bostons. He was the fifth Marylander in this year's race with a 2-hour, 59-minute, 5-secondfinish, and his personal marathon record (2:52) came at Boston.

"I ran throughout high school, then in college," he says. "I ran my first marathon when I was an undergraduate in England."

These days, his ministry prevents him from training as much as he would like.

"It [training] definitely has been a challenge since taking on this job," Steer says, "but I think it's a matter of just gradually getting used to the new job, pacing myself better. Training certainly was a problem with Boston this year.

"I still feel I have a 2:40 in me when I get prepared more seriously. I like to think there's a good time out there one of these days."

Steer says he would like to run the Baltimore Road Runners Club's North Central Railroad Marathon in the fall.

"That's my next target now that I'm in this area," Steer says. "I very much would like to do a Baltimore marathon."

Briefly

Brad Uhlfelder won Saturday's Oncology Center 5K at Johns Hopkins University.

) The week's top finishers:

WEDNESDAY

VTC BRRC Summer Track Series #1 At Catonsville High School 1,500 -- Males: 1. Paul Hannsen, 4:12. Females: 1. Nelda Clelland, 100 -- Males: 1. Paul Bell, 13.2. Females: 1. Maria Pfau, 16.3

400 -- Males: 1. Remus Neeley, 50.8. Females: 1. Teresa Love, 71.5.

1,000 -- Males: 1. Jim Clelland, 2:43.

200 -- Males: 1. Ned Leonard, 27.6. Females: 1. Maria Pfau, 32.6.

3 miles -- Males: 1. Scott Frampton, 14:37. Females: 1. Renne Leach, 21:02.

SUNDAY

BRRC Yankee Doodle Dash Age-Weight Handicap 5-miler At Manor Tavern Males: 1. Earl Schwartzendruber, 29:56 (10 minutes handicap); 2. Andy Klages, 29:30 (9.5); 3. Robin Wil

liams, 31:45 (11); 4. Dean Siedlecki, 32:10 (10.5); 5. Louis Pilsch, 32:02 (9.5); 6. Pete Hens, 32:12 (9.5); 7. Joe Glass, 34:10 (11); 8. Steve Lane, 36:28 (13); 9. Greg Cocco, 30:30 (7.5); 10. Dick Nair, 35:05 (10.5).

Females: 1. Alice Klages, 33:39 (2.5); 2. Judy Gilbert, 42:15 (4.5); 3. Margot Volk, 42:06 (3.5); 4. Debbie Grieb, 46:25 (5).

5RASAC Rock Run Mill 10K At Havre de Grace Males: 1. Donnie Mickey, 36:23; 2. Jim Otte, 28:36; 3. Vernon Chavis, 38:36; 4. Rick Schneider, 39:04; 5. Jerry Vega, 40:30; 6. Dan Anderson, 40:36; 7. Larry Emanuel, 40:38; 8. Vernell Chavis, 40:42; 9. Fred Carlson, 40:51; 10. Gary Reilly, 44:43.

Females: 1. Margaret Starnes, 41:02; 2. Kim Fleming, 48:20; 3. Barbara Stroud, 55:47.

Coming events

Tomorrow, BRRC Summer Track Series #2, Johns Hopkins University, 6:30 p.m., (410) 666-1840.

Tomorrow, HCS 2M, 6M, Oakland Mills Middle School, 7 p.m., (410) 964-1998.

Thursday, Annapolis Striders' Summer Fun Run 1M, 4M, Annapolis, 6 p.m., (410) 268-1165.

Thursday, WRRC Twilight Series #3, Camp Hashawa Three-Mile Trail Run, Camp Hashawa, (410) 346-7609.

Saturday, BRRC A Place for Your Pace, Loch Raven, 8 a.m., (410) 666-1840.

Saturday, RASAC Independence 4-Mile Run, Havre de Grace, 8 a.m., (410) 931-0096.

Saturday, Sri Chinmoy Runners Are Smilers 2-miler, Patterson Park, 8 a.m., (410) 467-3223.

Saturday, Dundalk Heritage 6K, Dundalk, 8 a.m., (410) 744-7218.

Monday, Choptank River Run 5K, 10-Miler, Cambridge, 7:30 a.m., (410) 228-4211.

Monday, Arbutus Firecracker 10K, Arbutus Middle School, 8 a.m.

Monday, Kingsville Firecracker 5K, Kingsville, 8 a.m., (410) 592-7524.

July 7, HCS 2M, 6M, Longfellow Elementary, 7 p.m., (410) 964-1998.

July 8, Annapolis Striders' Summer Fun Run 1M, 4M, Annapolis, 6 p.m., (410) 268-1165.

July 9, HCS Women's Distance Festival 5K, Columbia Mall, midnight.

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