A race and a renewal
Ten years ago, Robin Fulk let a job become her God and she fell away from church and God. But that same God used the first community 5K at Triad Baptist Church Sept. 9 to celebrate her spiritual recovery from those days and a host of following trials to encourage her to continue moving forward with Him in faith.
Just like the “Fix Your Eyes” name of the event Jim and Bekah Billock organized, Fulk walked and talked to God throughout the 3.1-mile course along Triad’s nature trail. While she may have finished last among the 60 participants in the 5K run/walk — who ranged in age from 4 to 73 — Fulk emerged feeling victorious.
“I had a walking partner with me even though I looked like I was out there alone,” Fulk said. “God and I had a wonderful spiritual conversation out there, and I came home a changed woman. I still have a long ways to go in my spiritual walk, but God used that experience to remind me that He planted me right where I belong.
“Most people who know me know I have had more than my share of health issues but I refuse to let them take me down,” she added. “I may have looked as if I came in last place Saturday, but my heart tells me different!”
The Billocks got the idea for their fundraising run/walk after taking a Mother’s Day walk themselves on Triad’s trail, which winds through nearly 92 acres the church bought in 2014.
They named the race after a passage in the Bible’s book of Hebrews (Hebrews 12:1-2) that reads, “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”
The 5K event raised $850 for Triad’s Loving the Least of These orphan and foster care support ministry.
‘Extremely happy with the event’
“We are extremely happy with the event,” Jim Billock said. “From having more than 30 volunteers, to the eight amateur radio operators from the Triad Baptist Amateur Radio Club (who kept us updated with constant updates from the trail relayed to a base station that we monitored on a mobile scanner they provided us), to member Steve Miley taking his drone aloft for us to record some amazing aerial footage, to the walkers and runners themselves, everything went great, and everyone was smiling and having a great time.
“We really could not have asked for a better day, turnout, results, or support.”
Added Bekah, “We have had overwhelmingly positive comments from both participants, sponsors, volunteers, and church leadership. We have had a number of folks come to us and encourage us to continue this event, which they felt certain would grow at TBC. We’re definitely planning to do it again next year around the same time in September.”
“It’s not too hot and folks are back in town from vacations and aren't yearning to go on vacation (as could happen around spring break),” she said of the race date. “We have yet to determine the next ministry to support, but are already considering a few.”
‘God has been working overtime in this girl’s life’
Fulk, who said she didn’t make up her mind to walk until the Sunday before the event, was among those glad they signed up.
“I was bouncing back and forth with the decision to come until Rick Reynolds, who teaches the Second Step discipleship class I take at Triad on Sunday evenings, said that if he could do it anybody could so I made up my mind I’d give it a shot,” she said.
Fulk said the race experience is the latest way Triad has blessed her and been a part of her spiritual recovery from some dark days, including being laid off from a job in 2009, and two back surgeries three months apart that nearly crippled her at a time when she wasn’t in church.
She said her turnaround began two years ago, when she ran into an old friend and Triad Baptist member, Fran Anthony, in an encounter she considers no coincidence.
“I owed Fran a favor from years past and asked her what I could do to return the favor and she replied, ‘Meet me at the door of Triad at 9 a.m. next Sunday morning,” Fulk said. “I was not going to let her down so I went back through those doors, and have been there ever since.
“God has been working overtime in this girl’s life since that Sunday I brought myself back to the cross, and what a wonderful place it is!”