A Running Question

A Running Question

So, our last post brought up a question that I have had for quite a while.

What do you all think about running special races, such as marathons, on Sunday?

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we believe that Sunday is a sacred day that we are to give to our Heavenly Father. It is also known as the Sabbath or the Day of Rest. On Sunday we go to church, spend time with our families, take time to read and meditate about our lives and eternal things and other “quiet” things. Mostly it is a day that allows us to take a break from our regular lives. We don’t work or do things etremely physical, but we do try to give service to our fellow man.

There are guidelines, but no set rules as to what exactly we can and can’t do. Like many commandments the Lord gives us the opportunity to think for ourselves and use the spirit to receive personal revelation. The Sabbath is meant to be a special day between us and our Heavenly Father.

So, what do we think? Is it okay to run a Marathon on Sunday?

They are a lot of sweat and work and you will probably miss church if you run in one. Also, to a few of the runners they are a competative race. On the other hand, they are also an amazing way to better yourself and give us confidence and help our bodies (which we believe are temples) in the process. Also, most marathons and other races are built around charitable causes. A lot of money and resources have been and raised by the running community and their supporters.

We know that the good majority of the people who read out blog are fellow Mormons and we would like to hear what your thoughts are. We also really want to hear what our friends of other faiths think. Do your religions/churches have a similar conundrum? From what you know of our beliefs, what do you think is the best thing?

We realize that this is a very personal decision. We aren’t really looking for a definitive answer, we just want to open things up for an interesting discussion. And remember, if you have an opinion, but are a bit nervous about sharing, you can always post anonymously.

9 thoughts on “A Running Question

  1. You already know this, but really, I think it’s between you and Heavenly Father, to be decided by prayer. Will you be able to feel the Spirit the day of the marathon? Are there other marathons you could run that aren’t on Sundays? Good luck with the decision! Reminds me of the talk “Good, Better, Best”.

  2. Hmmm, I’ve honestly had this type of question towards many things. Sometimes Its quite hard to determine.

    For example: Sunday is a day for family, and doing things that will strengthen your relationship. What about fishing? Its restful, calming, and a great time to talk to family. But for some reason, I’ve always thought that I couldn’t fish on Sundays, but I can’t articulate why. Is this an inspiration? Or is this some ingrained idea that I got from somebody somewhere…

    Here is something to think about with the Marathons, I know that we have actually missed church before to go sand bag when flooding seemed imminent. That was physical, we missed church, and it was service.

    Having said that, there is still a little idea in my head that running marathons on Saturdays is a “no no”. So, back to the whole “go ask God” line :)

  3. This is something I have wrestled with myself. I mean, I did run my marathon on a Sunday. I remember being really apologetic to my Bishop the following Sunday when back in town that I had missed church the week before to run it. He smiled and said “don’t feel guilty – you just accomplished a great task! Be happy!” Which I thought was an interesting response. I ran in San Diego, so after the marathon (we were done by noon) my friend and I went and walked (slowly, I might add!) around the San Diego Temple grounds, it was SO beautiful. We just took a little time to reflect even though it wasn’t in a sacrament meeting. Later, I thought about when I might have to talk to my future children about participating in sports tournaments and the like on a Sunday and would they think I was a hypocrite that I ran on a Sunday? I know there are a few races on Saturdays, but usually not the big ones that get you super-pumped about training. I still haven’t reached any conclusion. But thanks for stirring my thoughts again in that direction. Big Sur would be awesome, eh? Maybe we could just run really fast since we won’t have the boys and finish in time to catch a later church time? :) Maybe my family was doing something wrong – but we went for bike rides together on Sunday afternoons. Hmm…


  4. BTW, I noticed you know the Barrands! Danica served in my mission, although I never got to be her companion.

  5. This topic has definitely come up in our family… one of my sisters has a goal to run a marathon in every state (she’s done 8 so far) but it can be pretty difficult to find a race that’s NOT on Sunday in most places. So far she’s never had to do a Sunday run. I don’t think that personally I’d ever do a Sunday marathon myself. But, I agree with the other posters, it’s a totally personal decision between you and the Spirit.

  6. In December I decided that I wanted to train for a marathon. I hadn’t been running much for a few years. I found out that the only Saturday marathon was super hilly and it was in May. I started training immediately. I increased my mileage way too fast and injured my knee. Now it’s been two months and my knee feels better. The race is this Saturday. I’m trying to decide If I should try to run it anyway. Kind of off the topic, but interesting timing.

  7. Brad, what is your longest recent run so far? If you have been keeping it easy for two months, I would be worried about jumping straight into a marathon. We ran a 19 miler a week before the big race. It definitely prepared us, but it still was another big jump to the full 26.2. Let us know what you do.

    Out of curiosity, what marathon are you looking to run?

  8. It may be worth doing a personal gospel study on the Sabbath or Sabaoth. I always knew the Sabbath was important but it wasn’t until I did research for a paper while at BYU that I found out how important it really is. I found it interesting that the Sabbath isn’t just a commandment for our time (creation: on the 7th day He rested) but an eternal law (the Sabbath has always been observed throughout eternity) with blessings predicated for obedience to the law…one which really makes us free and fills our cup to running over.
    So how does this relate to running? In my opinion, I guess you could say that each person has to come to their own conclusion about how they observe the Sabbath. But my observance has been that there is a good, better, and best (as was stated in earlier comments) and that certain eternal and temporal blessings result from honest observance of the law. I also think that interpretation to the law of the Sabbath isn’t as wide as I think we make it.
    Thanks for helping me be reflective to my own responsibilities. I have need to observe the Sabbath with more perfect intent.

  9. Good topic. I would someday like to do a half-marathon just for myself, and my own personal development… but I don’t even care if it’s an official race or not, though I guess that might be fun, so I guess I don’t really get the whole drive to be in a “cool” race. Conan has wanted to do more competitive racing for quite some time, triathalon, marathon, something; so we’ve discussed this somewhat as well. For my own self, I would say that if it is possible to achieve the same goals, (raising charity money, motivation to be physically fit, challenging myself, etc) without infringing on the Sabbath, then why wouldn’t I? I also thought that was a really good point I hadn’t considered regarding what I would tell my children when they are on a sports team and we say “no games on Sunday.” Then we all go watch Daddy race on Sunday.

    But again, that’s me. I’m not in the “running community” and I’m not really big into the competitive feel of anything really, much less the chaos of a really big race, so I am not really in the same boat as you guys. That’s just my personal feeling on it for what I would do.

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