Six months ago, a group of 350 men and women, all members of Kensington Church, met for their first of many group runs.
They ran or walked as far as they could for 30 minutes. Most of them had never run more than 3 miles before then; some of them could not finish the half-hour test.
Since that April day, they have stuck together, running in small groups and increasing their distance each time.
And on Sunday, they'll run a marathon.
The Kensington group is running the Chicago Marathon for World Vision, an organization that helps bring clean drinking water to Africa. The runners are based out of Kensington Church congregations in Orion and Troy: most of them are from Oakland County; about a third of the team is from Rochester and Rochester Hills. For six months they have run together every Saturday morning at Stony Creek Metropark.
Together the local group has raised almost $300,000 for their cause.
The Kensington runners will be part of a group of 1,600 marathoners running for World Vision and clean water; there are 45,000 expected to run the race altogether.
The Chicago Marathon starts at 7:30 (Central time) Sunday morning; for more information, visit www.chicagomarathon.com.