Be mindful: tune into our youth
June 5, 2024
Bringing pastoral care and comfort to the sick
June 5, 2024

All in from St Paul’s Couva

No way! That was my very first response when asked about running The Catholic News Steps for Hope 5k event. Every excuse (lack of fitness, not enough prep time given my schedule, the afternoon timing of the event) for why I couldn’t see myself participating (or surviving) was rattled off to all who approached to request my participation.

Days of consistent requests from my fellow brothers and sisters eventually softened my stubborn mind. I committed to the day. With that I was added to a team of 20-plus participants from St Paul’s, Couva.

The registration for the event was a seamless process, with names quickly compiled and fees paid. Team jerseys were then decided upon and executed. While it was smooth sailing team wise, my personal preparation was not as seamless.

While I promised myself to prepare properly for the event that promise was not met. That would not stop me from doing the event, however. I made it my mission to complete the race.

The day of the event brought together 500-odd participants, many of them members of our Catholic community. Parishes from Trinidad and Tobago were well represented. As with my parish, some parishes stepped out in matching colours for their team.

The team from St Paul’s was excited to compete both as individuals and to represent our parish. Runners mingled before the race, catching up with those they haven’t seen in a while, posing for pictures or some engaged in the pre-race warm-ups.

The 1k was first up. At the sound of the horn, our young ones took off. Some in friendly competition to cross the finish line first, some enjoying a leisurely stroll. Within no time the winner crossed the line. A surprising and admirable show of speed. Followed by his peers, smiling faces were seen all over as parents embraced their children, offering congratulations for their achievements.

Next was the 5k. As with the young ones, there was again those in friendly competition, those enjoying a leisurely stroll and those just trying to survive to the end.

I won’t say which group I fell into. I will say I crossed the finish line with my head high then collected the gorgeous medal. Prize giving followed. The top finishers of each category ran times I could dream of. Great accomplishments that were well applauded.

The next prize came as a bit of a surprise as the Parish with the most participants was announced to be St Paul’s Couva. Taking to the stage we collected our prize of a challenge trophy and hampers. A few more prizes were announced followed by the last event of the day, a burnout. Again, I won’t say if I partook.

All in all, I must admit it brought great joy seeing our Catholic community both young and old, and others out in their numbers. I thank God that my own laziness and stubbornness did not stop me from a truly great evening of fun and fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

From St Paul’s, we look forward to an even bigger and better Steps for Hope 2025! —Jonathan Rawlins