Little Rock Marathon winner runs for God’s Glory

Abigayle Money finishes the Little Rock Marathon on Sunday. She was the top female finisher. (Submitted)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – It was a busy weekend for University of Arkansas graduate student Abigayle Money – the top finishing female of the Little Rock Marathon.  

She traveled from Fayetteville to Little Rock on Friday with the Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM). Then on Saturday the group attended the Arkansas Baptist State Convention’s Lead Defend conference. 

It was Money’s first time to attend the apologetics conference, which she called a great experience.  

“I hadn’t been to a conference like that in a while just to sort of reconnect, refocus and dial in,” she said.  

After the conference, the College of the Ozarks graduate switched to a hotel in downtown Little Rock and caught up with her dad for dinner.  

Abigayle Money finishes the Little Rock Marathon with a time of 2 hours, 51 minutes and 37 seconds. (Submitted)

Money woke up at 3 a.m. Sunday for a good breakfast, went back to sleep for a little bit, and then made her way to the starting line for the Little Rock Marathon. She was the first female to cross the finish line of the 26.2-mile race with a time of 2 hours, 51 minutes, and 37 seconds. She finished fourth overall of the 1,148 who completed the race. Her pace was 6 minutes and 33 seconds per mile. The top male finisher and overall winner had a pace of 6 minutes and 13 seconds. 

And her day did not end there. She traveled back to Fayetteville to study some before attending a BCM Leadership Team meeting that evening. On Monday, she led a BCM small group as part of their service. 

With a knack for running, Money participated in her first race in the fourth grade and was hooked. 

“Someone has asked me relatively recently, what is my ‘why’ behind running? I don’t think I’d be doing it if I didn’t have a knack for it. I think that because God has given me the ability to do it and to do it well that I feel in a way obligated to glorify Him in that by pushing myself not only in races but in training. I think it definitely puts me in a position to reach people that I otherwise wouldn’t be given the option to talk to,” she said.   

In the months leading up to Sunday’s marathon, Money said she was very anxious about it. She prayed about it a lot.  

“I had a whole community of people behind me who were also praying for me in the week leading up to it. But I knew the Lord. He never fails. So, I wanted to lean into that discomfort and push myself for His glory,” she said.  

For this race – her second marathon – Money trained for about 4 ½ months following a training plan she found online.  

“I followed that plan and as far as the days and hours leading up, I focused more intentionally this time on nutrition, making sure I had a good breakfast and actually fueled during the race properly. That’s something I didn’t really know about going into my first one,” she said. Her first marathon time was around 3 hours and 24 minutes. 

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Abigayle Money (far left, front row) attends the Arkansas Baptist State Convention’s Lead Defend Conference with the University of Arkansas BCM. (Submitted)

During Sunday’s race, Money continued to pray. She said a verse that helped her through it was 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 – “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.’ Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and in difficulties, for the sake of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  

“I really do believe that. That through my weakness His strength is made all the more evident and I know even though from the outside people see me running really well that is not the only thing going on inside,” she said.  

During her junior year of college, Money said she nearly quit running. She hit a season of life where she was very depressed.  

“It wasn’t by any will of my own, but the Lord placed a lot of really good people in my life who helped me through that season, and He has continually showed His faithfulness to me through all that and I know I wouldn’t be here apart from Him,” she said.  

Along with being involved with the BCM at the University of Arkansas, Money joined the intramural running club on campus and is also part of the Arkansas Track Club. She’s currently earning her graduate degree in English.  

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