Pastor Running 56 Miles For 56 African Youth

Pastor Craigan is preparing to run Comrades in May. Photo: White Bear Press

He’s heading to South Africa to take part in one of the world’s hardest ultras.

Most people consider  long-distance running a solitary sport. For Minnesota Reverend Neil Craigan, it’s a community effort. Craigan is the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of White Bear Lake. He’s an ultra marathoner on a mission. When Rev. Craigan takes part in many of his long races, he is raising money for his charity, the Christian humanitarian organization, World Vision, which, according to its Web site, serves 100 million people in 100 countries.

Currently, Rev. Craigan is training for one of the world’s most difficult races: The Comrades Marathon. Comrades is a 56-mile ultra. This year, it’s uphill from Durban to Pietermartzburg, South Africa. (The course alternates direction every year.)

Craigan is soliciting donations to support a World Vision child in South Africa, a cost of $35, for each mile of his race.

On his blog, Craigan wrote: “Running Comrades Marathon with Team World Vision will allow me to combine a love for running and a love for God’s justice in the world to come together in one event.”

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