Big Brother star to run London Marathon for Salvation Army.
published on 2 Aug 2022
Glyn Wise, a former Big Brother contestant and now an aspiring priest, will be running the London Marathon in October to raise money for The Salvation Army.
Glyn who grew up in Blaenau Ffestiniog in North Wales, first ran the London marathon in 2008 straight after coming out of the Big Brother house when he was just 18 with no training.
“I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into” he said. “I didn’t realise how long 26 miles was but this time I’m going in prepared. I joined the local athletics team and we’ve been training a lot, so I know I’ll be able to do it properly this time. We’ve just done the Lisbon half marathon which I completed in an hour and 20 minutes.”
“I run with a mixture of people. Some are Christians and some are not, but they always ask me to pray before our meals when we socialise after going out for a run. I enjoy teaching people about the Bible and about Christianity, and I’ve noticed that more of the people I run with are taking more of an interest. A bit like when Jesus told his disciples to go out there and spread the good work of God. I feel like that’s kind of what I’m doing. I think it’s good to talk to people who aren’t Christians but are still curious.”
When asked how he would encourage anyone to sign up for the London Marathon he says: “Make sure you have been training for at least a year prior. Make sure that you are at your best ability to go for it. Don’t do what I did when I was 18 and try to do it without any training. It’s also a really good way of raising money for charity.”
“My advice for getting through the tough miles or if you hit the wall, is to make sure you drink plenty of water or fluids. Do your stretching - and a tip is to keep a few sugar cubes in your pocket to help you when you need that sugar rush to keep your energy going. I also find that it helps the mind because sometimes you’ll have those voices in your head saying “I want to give up”, but the sugar rush really helps keep you going.
“I would always recommend praying in the morning to put you on the right path and set you up for the day.”
Glyn said: “I’ve always been a Christian, but after spending time in China where Christianity is growing massively and helping out with the homeless community, I wanted to carry on the good work I was doing when I got back to the UK.”
“They do church in a different way over there, they make it very modern and bring it up to the 21st century. You go to Church, and they bring rock bands on stage to do the hymns. They put the Bible in the context of 2022 and how it can help with your mental health. We were helping out in the community and helping the homeless and I was thinking there is something in this. They told me when I go home that I should carry on the good work at home.”
When Glyn returned to the UK, he went to the churches in Wales and realised that becoming a priest was something he would like to pursue. “I thought to myself, I can do this. People kept telling me I’d be a good preacher or vicar and I never thought much of it, but when I came back, I thought that the time feels right now. Now that I’m older and I’ve had life experiences.”
Glyn now works as a Pastoral Assistant shadowing a priest at a church in London. “We spend a lot of time helping out in the community. We work with sex workers and homelessness charities helping people who are facing homelessness here. We help put them in accommodation and help with writing their CVs and washing their clothes, with the hope that in the end, they will be going somewhere more permanent. When I came back to the UK from China, I never expected to see homelessness in the same way. I think being in China really opened my eyes to how bad it was back home.”
Glyn learnt about the good work that the Salvation Army does for the homeless and decided that he would love to run the London Marathon for team Sally Army. “It’s a Christian church and charity, which helps with all of the things that I have been doing and that I have a passion for.”
Glyn turns to God every day for motivation. “I pray every morning because it’s a really good way to start my day. I pray for my family and friends first, and then I ask God to put good into the day and to look after my body. I always think of God, as not only a father, but also a brother, a mentor, and a friend. He’s always there to listen. Like the Bible says “ask and you will receive” the door will always be open and just putting it out there to have a good day.”
If you would like a place in the London Marathon and run to raise money for The Salvation Army click here and if you would like to sponsor Glyn click here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Glyn-Wise