“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
A temporary three-lane track was laid along the Villa della Conciliazione, carving out a 100-metre track on which a few hundred people raced toward St. Peter’s Square. Among the racers were seminarians and sisters, Vatican guards, children, and people with disabilities. Several professional athletes were among the crowd of runners, including Jason Gardener, British indoor sprint champion and winner of the 2004 Olympic medal, and Andrea Bartali, son of the late Italian champion cyclist Gino Bartali.
Pope Francis, addressing the crowd of racers and others gathered for the Sunday Angelus, said that “the believer is an athlete of the spirit.”
Concurrent with the Race of Faith was a one-day conference for sports educators and representatives from Catholic sports associations and bishops’ conferences, who were brought together at the Vatican to discuss how the Church can encourage the sports world to better protect human dignity.