The morning began with the celebration of the Holy Mass, lead by the Provincial Minister br. Algirdas Malakauskis OFM. The Mass was attended by the Mayor of the city Vytautas Grubliauskas, the Prime Minister of Lithuania Algirdas Butkevičius, and other faithful. After the Holy Mass, the head of the country’s government fired the starting pistol at the half-marathon line.
Athletes, who came to support cancer patients and in turn raise funds for the St. Francis Oncology Center in Klaipėda, were able to compete in various distances – 21.098km, 10km, 5.6km, 2.9km, and a symbolic 0.6km stretch.
The founder of the Run for Hope, br. Benediktas Jurčys OFM shared his dream, “This year, my hope is beginning to become a reality. I envision that every cancer patient in Lithuania will be represented by a runner. This year’s 10,000 contestants are a good start for the 10th anniversary next year, when we could have 100,000 athletes. This year we could be compared to a river, but then we could become the sea of hope on the coast of the Baltic.”
For more information, please contact Simonas Kiela, Communications Coordinator of the Lithuanian Province of St. Casimir, Order of Friars Minor.