Name: Jon Parks
Position: Co-founder and team leader
Children: Anna (6), Ryan (3) and Elliott (2)
City: Raleigh, NC
Church: Wake Cross Roads Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC
Are you a member there? Yes.
Tell us a little about how you became a Christian:
When I was about 11 years old, I was blessed to have a youth group leader at my church take an active interest in me and my spiritual development. I had grown up in the church, so I was well acquainted with hearing the Gospel message, but he took the time to meet with me, talk with me about sin, my need for a savior and opened my eyes to the type of life that Jesus Christ wanted me to live. On a trip to a summer camp at Fort Caswell, NC, I spent the week engaged in reading God’s word and engaging in conversation with Christians– something entirely new for an 11 year old! When I returned home, my youth group leader continued to meet with me and I vividly remember him showing me a small, blue pamphlet that had an image of two cliffs, one with me and the other with eternal life, separated by a gulf that no one could overcome. In the next frame, it showed how a Cross was laid across that gap and it clearly presented to me that the only way I could have eternal life was to put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ. I prayed with my youth leader and asked Jesus to be my savior. I made a public profession of my newfound faith and later was baptized as an outward sign of the transformation that had taken place within my heart. And it began a lifelong process of learning how to walk with Jesus Christ each and every day!
What type of athlete do you consider yourself to be? A triathlete
Tell us about the most exciting race you’ve competed in:
I participated in my very first triathlon in April, 2011. I had trained for a few months leading up to the race and was as prepared as I could be for the event. I didn’t know all the nuances of triathlon (how to setup a transition area, when/where to mount/dismount the bike, etc.), but I was excited because the race presented a tremendous challenge to me. In triathlon, endurance is valued over speed, and that was the challenge to me in the event. But the part I will always remember is rounding the last corner on the 5K and beginning my climb up the final hill. I could hear my good friend, Chick, yelling at the top of his lungs for me to push hard to the finish. I could see my wife and children cheering me on as I ran past. And I felt an incredible rush as I entered the chute and crossed the finish line! At that point, I could consider myself a triathlete, and I will always remember the excitement of that moment.
What do you like most about running?
The challenge of pushing myself to go farther and faster!
What is your favorite Bible verse?
John 14:6. ”I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.”