Richard Nerurkar was a successful athlete for several years. He has won the English national cross-country championship three times and twice finished in the top 20 in the World Cross-Country Championships. On the track, he finished 5th in the 10,000 metres in the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo and 17th in the 1992 10,000m Olympic final. In 1993 he moved up to the marathon.
He won his debut marathon in Hamburg in a time of 2:12:57 and went on to win his second marathon, the World Cup marathon in San Sebastian, in October 1993. His other marathons included a 5th place in the1996 Olympic Marathon and a personal best time of 2:08:36 in the 1997 London Marathon where he also finished 5th.
Richard here describes how he came to faith in Christ:
"I became a Christian at the age of 16. My brother had become a Christian six months earlier and was involved in a Christian youth fellowship group. He invited me, my sister and parents to an outreach event in Leeds. At that event, I really felt the desire to commit myself to Jesus. Prior to that I had been brought up to go to church, had been baptized and confirmed in the Anglican church, but it hadn't really meant anything to me. From that point on, I made a personal commitment to follow Jesus. I started going to a Christian youth fellowship group in my home area and later was part of a fellowship group at university.
"When you become a Christian you begin to develop a different perspective on the world and your own life. You start to become aware of how God has created us to live, of the talents and gifts He has given us, and also of how we so often fail to live by God's perfect standards.
"Had God not created me as I am, I wouldn't be the person I am - a simple truth, yet in saying this I am acknowledging the source of all that makes me me. The apostle Paul expresses this truth when he wrote: " I can do all things through HIm who gives me strength." In return, whatever I do, I want to do in a way that reflects well on God - 'for his glory.' This is true of my running just as much as in other areas of my life.