For immediate release: Sammy Tippit started out his ministry walking across America, handing out Bibles from a wheelbarrow. Forty years later he found himself running his first marathon, collapsing at the finish line. Paramedics rushed him to the hospital where he learned he was the second man that day to have the same thing happen—only the other man died. “If I had called the shots, I would have said run when I was young and walk when I was old. But God’s ways are not our ways,” says Tippit, a resident of San Antonio.
The 60-something cancer survivor is not your typical runner. Once 60 pounds overweight, Tippit decided to share his story of transformation in a new book along with the stories of Ryan Hall, American record-holder for the half marathon, Charles Austin, the Olympic and American record-holder for the high jump and others. Tippit’s book The Race: Run Like a Champion, chronicles his journey into a healthy lifestyle, using God’s word as his source of inspiration. The Race highlights metaphors and wisdom for athletes from the Bible including:
- The endurance metaphor isn’t in the Bible to say you need more hardships– it shows us how to live by God’s grace and power in the midst of adversities.
- When you run according to your gifting, you may encounter problems along the way, but you feel a sense of joy and peace in the midst of the race.
- A runner doesn’t become a champion overnight, and neither does a Christian become a spiritual giant instantly. We begin weak and grow strong. We start slow and develop speed.
- Hills display God’s glory at a distance. But for a runner, those same hills produce a need for God.
- God wants us to finish life’s race as winners, not losers. He longs to award us the crown of victory at the end of our lives.
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee wrote the foreword for The Race. As longtime friends, Tippit watched Huckabee lose nearly 100 pounds and was inspired by his commitment to get in shape through running and healthy living. “It showed me the roadmap of how I could do the same thing,” explains Tippit. “So when it came time to write a book I knew there was no one better than Governor Huckabee to write the foreword.”