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Running With A Sense Of Urgency
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By Lisa Hall- Finlay

London's Ray Alary is a career missionary who served in the Caribbean and Africa before returning home to serve as President of Trans World Radio (TWR) Canada. At 60 years old, Alary doesn’t think it's strange that he’s signed up to run the 21.5km half marathon with the Forest City Road Races (FCRR) on April 26.

"The most difficult part of running long distance, for me, isn't the fitness aspect but the mental game,” says Alary. "If I can get my head to the point where I don’t feel the pain, my legs just keep churning and I feel like I can run forever." Alary ran his first marathon in 1982 (32km) while living in Nanisivik, a now dismantled mining town near Arctic Bay, NU. The Nanisivik Midnight Sun Marathon on Baffin Island ran for twenty years, and then moved to nearby Arctic Bay and became the Nunavut Midnight Sun Ultramarathon (84.4km). It was the world’s northernmost ultramarathon.

Alary shrugs and smiles when asked how he trained in the arctic. “I ran outside in a parka in the dark." Alary has run marathons in South Africa, in Hamilton’s Around The Bay marathon, and this is his third time running in the FCRR. Last year he decided to help others through running marathons and raised over $11,000 for TWR’s biblical radio programming for Africa.

He admits that last year's race was tough. “I had run the full 21.5km without walking or pausing, and near the finish line my grandson ran out to meet me. I picked him up, and still running, carried him across the finish line. I'm telling you - thirty pounds has never felt so heavy in my entire life, but no one was gonna stop me from doing it."

The Forest City Road Races allow non-profits and charities to register as partners so participants can raise funds for the cause of their choice. Trans World Radio Canada is the only faith-based non-profit listed as a partner in the 2015 FCRR. This year, Alary says he’s running with a sense of urgency because he's raising funds for programs for the Middle East through One Story. This is a set of Bible stories developed for those who have little or no access to Scripture in their own language. All donations made through the FCRR website will receive a charitable tax receipt from TWR Canada, and the first $20,000 will be matched dollar for dollar. Alary has a lofty goal of raising $50,000 through the race, but he’s not running alone. Team TWR has more than ten others running to raise funds for this programming.

"Running is something that I love to do," Alary says. "I'll be doing this as long as my body allows me to. It's a gift I can use to further God’s kingdom."