Video of Godislove Runners in the Luxor Marathon:
CTV Video Interview with Raef Guirges and Godislove Team Members:
Video of Raef Guirges Interviewed in on CTV News in Egypt:
Video of Raef Guirges Interviewed in Egypt for the Egyptian Marathon:
Grand Island Trail Marathon Video:
Check out this video compiled on Raef Guirges.
7 Marathons On 7 Continents In 7 Days:
Scanned Articles and Certificates:
Click here to view Scanned Articles and Certificates.
Collection of Metals:
Click here to view the metals that have been won.
The founder Raef Guirges is a Member of the following Clubs :
Saucony26 – Every Runner Has A Story:
Saucony, the famous shoe company, is the official sponsor of the LA Marathon. Saucony has selected 26 people from in and around the LA Area who have their own special reasons for running, and believe it or not, 1 of those 26 people, is our own founder of the God is Love Online team. Click Here to view the Saucony26 story about Raef Guirges.
Raef Guirges and 50 Marathons:
It all started because of a small idea. If Raef Guirges put the words “God is Love” on every dollar that came into his hands, maybe he could just change one person’s life. So Raef bought a stamp and started stamping. Every single dollar that came in front of him he stamped with the words “God is Love”. Little did he know at the time that these three words would eventually start him on a life changing journey.
The words “God is Love” soon appeared on the front of Raef’s house. He realized that if he put the words on the front of his house, even more people would notice the message. He also had the words painted on his backyard wall as a reminder to him, his family, and any visitors. The words reminded everyone of God’s love. Most of all, they were an inspiration in Raef’s life.
For thirty five years, Raef was a smoker. His addiction affected everyone around him, most importantly to him, his family. His struggle with cigarettes was a long and difficult struggle. Finally Raef was able to break the habit and he knew why. It was because of his faith in God and God’s unconditional love. Raef realized the blessings in his life that he had been given and wanted even more to continue to spread the word of God’s love.
One day, Raef realized his calling. While in bed one morning, he watched the Los Angeles Marathon. That very moment, he knew what he wanted to do. He would train to run the Los Angeles Marathon. He started on a very small scale; trying just to run around the block. After a few months, he was running a few miles per day. Eventually he was able to run a 10k run as practice for the marathon; however, that was nothing compared to the 26.2 miles that would be required of him in order to finish succeed in the Los Angeles Marathon. On March 6, 2005, Raef succeeded in his goal. He ran 26.2 miles and it took him 4 hours and 55 minutes. He had worked hard and accomplished something that no one thought that he could do, after all, this former smoker had never had a history of running at all.
Once Raef had completed the Los Angeles marathon, everyone around him thought that he was done and life would go back to normal. But the running bug had bitten him and Raef had much bigger goals. He ran another marathon in Cleveland, Ohio where his sister lived and the idea hit. He wanted to do something big. At that moment, Raef decided that he was going to run many more marathons; he would run one in every state in the country. But he was not going to forget all of the blessings that God had provided him. From then on, he would wear a shirt proclaiming “God is Love”. He then decided that he would also write God is Love on an American flag and carry that along with him on all of his marathons.
Raef eventually created a website, Godisloveonline.com and created an organization and devoted it to promoting athletic endeavors. Anyone could join Raef is his running. There was only one rule; in order to run as part of the organization, one had to wear a God is Love shirt. Now, more than two years after his first marathon in Los Angeles, Raef has only 10 more marathons to go. The road however was not easy. He has had to endure severe weather, long flights and exhausting drives. Long painful nights before and after all of the marathons as a result of probably the most difficult injury of them all, two fractures in both legs had everyone around him begging him to stop. No one understood how after all of this pain and suffering he could go on. When asked, Raef says with a twinkle in his eye, “No matter how tired I am or how much pain I am in, the moment I put on that God is Love shirt and hold up that flag, the pain goes away.”
The countdown to the last ten marathons for Raef begins in July 28, 2007 in Michigan and his journey through all of the fifty states officially ends in Connecticut on December 8, 2007. After that date, Raef will finally be done with all of the fifty states. However, Raef has bigger plans. After he is done with the states, he plans to take a short rest and run a marathon in his home country in Egypt, this time holding the Egyptian flag. After that, he plans to run a marathon in all of the countries in Europe and other countries all over the world that hold marathons each time holding the countries flag, with the message he wants to spread: “God is Love.” For Raef, it is the least he could do for God, who has blessed him so much.
Grizzly Marathon Write-Up:
August 19, 2006
Race Report by Bob Dolphin
The Grizzly Marathon certainly has an intriguing name. The designation is appropriate because the marathon is held in a grizzly bear recovery zone in the Rocky Mountains in northern Montana. Part of the marathon course in the foothills of these mountains is in bear habitat, and one runner saw a grizzly during the race. The Grizzly Marathon on August 19, 2006, was in a beautiful setting in Big Sky Country with rolling, grassy plains supporting cattle and wildlife that stretch for miles in all directions. To the west, massive mountains with cliffs rose precipitously.
Packet pickup was held the day before the race at the Stage Stop Inn at Choteau, Montana. There we had the opportunity to visit with runners, including some friends from the United Kingdom. The four who journeyed to the States for two marathons in two weekends were Roger Biggs, Jack Brooks, Gina Little and Carla Hayes. Roger is chairman of the original 100 Marathon Club that’s based in London, England. Jack, Gina and I are also members of this club. We enjoyed their company at a pasta meal at a local church on Friday night and at a restaurant in Fairfield after the marathon with Jim Scheer.
Former Renton neighbors of Lenore’s whom she hadn’t seen in many years, Mary and Moe Embleton, met us at packet pickup, and together we toured the marathon course. The start/finish line of the marathon was 25 miles from Choteau, so this was a smart thing to do. Finding our destination in the dark the next morning could have been a definite challenge.
Lenore’s first assignment of the day as a volunteer was to assist in directing participant parking at 5:00 a.m. on this dark Saturday morning. After the playing of the Canadian and American national anthems, the combined field of approximately 101 marathoners and 150 half-marathoners left the starting line at dawn (6:30 a.m.) They ran together for 50 yards and then ran in different directions at a “T” junction.
The marathoners ran on a rectangular course that turned clockwise. The first seven miles were on paved Teton Canyon Road, and I passed 10 runners in the back of the field. Then we turned onto a gravel road (Montana-sized gravel!), and this was the surface for the remainder of the race. Some times there was packed dirt in tire tracks, and this was an improvement over the loose rocks. The elevation fluctuated between 4,110 feet and 4,930 feet in rolling terrain with two major hills. The highest one was at a 19 mile turn-around on an out-and-back section.
The first half went well, and I ran much of it. In the second half as the air temperature rose to 85 degrees under clear skies, I walked a lot. It was good to see friends David Nemoto, March Frommer, Jim Scheer, Boonsom Hartman, Larry Macon, Jim Simpson, Roger Hauge and the Brits on the four mile out-and-back section.
In the last five miles I walked at a 16 minute pace and finished in 6:00:48, 93rd of 100 finishers overall and third of three 70+ males. Lenore welcomed me at the finish line and gave me my finishers medal.
Water, sports drink, gels and fruit had been available on the course at two mile intervals and were offered by friendly volunteers. At the finish area barbecued beef burgers, hot dogs, soft drinks and other food were appreciated by runners to top off their “adventure and triumph over adversity.”
Last month at the Paul Bunyan Marathon in Maine I saw Raef Guiges, 50, a CPA from Torrance, CA, who carried a large United States flag that is topped with a cross. He’s a 50 States Marathon Club member who participated at the Grizzly Marathon in the same manner. His organization’s website (www.godisloveonline.com) is displayed on his T-shirt. In checking this site, I learned that his goal is to “spread the word of God through fitness, raising money for charity groups and supporting Christ in the Middle East.”
Congratulations to Tyson Liskow, 27, of Laramie, Wyoming, for running his first marathon and finishing in 4:22:02. Chris Valentino of Novato, California, ran with his son Taylor. Chris finished in 4:54:58, and Taylor ran a 3:55:15.
Thanks go to race director David Hirschfeld, his assistants and the volunteers for organizing the Grizzly Marathon in the Montana countryside.
Thanks also to Lori and John Finch of Fairfield for renovating an old building and creating the Fairfield Park Inn 17 miles from Choteau. We enjoyed our three nights in the “Loony Bin” (the Audubon Room) and the delicious homemade muffins at the continental breakfasts. Runners interested in getting a room at this unique inn should make their reservations early or else they’ll miss the opportunity to stay where we did or in the Cowboy, Fisherman, Antique or Americana Room. The email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org…..phone: (800)844-0892 and (406)467-3373.
The elevation, gravel roads and lack of shade made the Grizzly Marathon a big challenge. I’m glad that I was a part of this 4th annual event and can add Montana as a completed state in my quest to run a marathon in all 50!
Written by Bob Dolphin
Edited, Typed and Distributed by Lenore Dolphin