About TEAM 413

chrisgillespieTEAM 413 – GRACERUNNER Ministries

Founder & Executive Director

Chris Gillespie


TEAM 413 - GRACERUNNER MINISTRIES is the world's largest ministry for endurance athletes. Our primary mission is to share Christ with "whosoever" along our journey.



Our mission is to... Share the love of Christ in the athletic world through words and actions; Promote the physical, mental, and spiritual well being of the athlete; Minister to runners in road races across the country as we run "side by side!"



TEAM 413 exists to share the love of Christ in the athletic arena, promote the physical, mental, and spiritual health of the athlete, and compete in road races across the country. Our mission is to... Share the love of Christ in the athletic world through words and actions; Promote the physical, mental, and spiritual well being of the athlete; Minister to runners in road races across the country as we run "side by side." We believe that the truth of "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" in Philippians 4:13 is our call to serve Christ in ALL we do.



From one t-shirt to a worldwide ministry --- Chris Gillespie, founder and executive director, calls TEAM 413 a miracle of God's grace. In 2003 Gillespie founded TEAM 413 inspired by God's calling in his life. Even though he is a professor in the Kinesiology and Nutrition Science Department at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama ---TEAM 413 is a passion --- a labor of love for runners and other endurance athletes from all over the world. Whether challenging others to walk a lap around a track or run a mile, change an attitude or improve a relationship, Gillespie shares a message of confidence, perseverance, courage, and strength. His goal is to exhibit in his own life and to impart to others the truth of Philippians 4:13 -- "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."


Chris has done much in his career as a certified athletic trainer. He was the Head Athletic Trainer at Samford University from 1982 - 1999. Since that time, he has been involved more extensively in the administrative and educational aspect of the athletic training program. He has spoken at athletic training and sports medicine seminars from coast to coast. He has also served on numerous athletic training committees at the state, district, and national levels. Chris served as president of the Alabama Athletic Trainers' Association and the Southeast Athletic Trainers' Association. He also served as a member of the Alabama Athletic Trainers' Association Licensure Task Force and was a member & Vice-Chair of the Alabama Board of Athletic Trainers for more than a decade. Chris was an athletic trainer for track & field and the marathon at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Currently, Chris serves on the Inter-Associational Task Force on Sickle Cell Trait in Athletics.


Among his many awards in the athletic training field are the National Athletic Trainers' Association Service Award, the Southeast Athletic Trainers' Association District Award, the Southeast Athletic Trainers' Association Educator Award, and the National Athletic Trainers' Association Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award. His highest honors have been induction into the Alabama Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Southeast Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame in 2008.


Chris Gillespie's story is one of inspiration. He shares his words of encouragement, God's grace, and overcoming trials to running groups, churches, sports teams, and at marathons across the United States. He has given presentations on his faith and on running injuries at marathon expo seminars in cities such as Nashville, Virginia Beach, Knoxville, San Diego, Champaign, Phoenix, Long Beach, Columbus, Orange County, Springfield, Miami, Des Moines, and Fargo.


A native of Pontotoc, Mississippi, Chris and his wife, Kiki, now live in Calera, Alabama. Chris has two daughters, Morgan (26) and Ashley (24) and two step children, Gerrit (13) and Hanna (11).


What They Say

"Chris and TEAM 413 bring incredible inspiration to runners of all abilities! His message of being able "to do all things through Christ who strengthens me" is done in an entertaining way that will inspire runners through their toughest miles. If you have the chance to hear Chris speak, don't miss this uplifting opportunity!"

Dick Beardsley – Running Legend – President, The Dick Beardsley Foundation


"Chris is a genuine, inspirational, and engaging speaker for people of all ages. He communicates his life story and personal mission with humor, intelligence, creativity and passion."

Matt Kerlin – Pastor to Samford University – Birmingham, Alabama


"Chris is one of those fluid speakers who grasps the mood, setting, vibe of an audience and then tailors his commentary and delivery to match and enhance. I'd recommend Chris as a moderator to the U.N. or an invited runners‟ panel...he's just that adaptable...enjoyable to listen to!"

Rob Powers – America‟s Voice of Running and Founder of the Warrior Tours


"I was honored to have TEAM 413 at the 2009 & 2010 Illinois Marathon and the 2010 Fargo Marathon. I was equally honored to have Chris Gillespie speak at our Health & Fitness Expos. Our runners loved Chris' talks! Chris Gillespie is doing what God has asked all of us to do....spread the word using what gifts and talents we have. Every time he runs by someone while wearing a TEAM 413 Shirt, he is solidifying his role as "God‟s Personal Running Messenger"....reminding us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us."

Mark Knutson – Race Director – Fargo and Illinois Marathons


"When Chris shared his passion and vision for what TEAM 413 is all about at our pre-race Victory Rally, I could see, hear, feel and taste what he was talking about. Not only did Chris present a beautiful biblical foundation for his ministry, he wove stories of witness, sacrifice, miracles and blessings that inspired us to want to run with him. I highly recommend that your church or organization partner with TEAM 413, because the Lord is using Chris to do wonderful things for the Kingdom as he runs the good race."

Fred Snider – Senior Pastor, Grace Harbor Church – Tustin, CA


"What a truly wonderful speaker Chris Gillespie is! He has the ability to transparently share his heart with conviction and humbleness in a unique way that both encourages and exemplifies the core message of Philippians 4:13. Everyone at our Rally felt that they were on the edge of their seats as Chris shared from God‟s word, and also shared his amazing testimony of victory over adversity. His powerful words moved our group and touched lives for Christ. There is a beautiful and unique anointing on this man of God, and you will be refreshed and blessed in hearing God speak through him."

Lahoma Ballester – TEAM 413 West Coast Coordinator


"One of Chris‟ passions is the ministry that he founded in 2003 to bring the message of Jesus Christ to runners and other endurance athletes. TEAM 413, based on Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"  has blessed and encouraged thousands of athletes throughout the world. In faith, I know that the Lord has His hand on this ministry and on Chris Gillespie and will use both the ministry and the minister to introduce Jesus Christ to a world in desperate need of a savior."

James B. Angel, PhD – Samford University – Birmingham, Alabama


"Chris Gillespie and TEAM 413 have, and will continue into eternity to run the good race, sharing a message of hope, joy, and love with a broken world -- one step, one mile, one person at a time. The challenge becomes: Do WE have the courage to pick up the cross and be a GRACERUNNER for Christ as well?"

Gary Earl – CIGNA Corporation – Senior Vice President


"My husband, Fred, and I first learned about TEAM 413 at the 2009 Walt Disney World Marathon Expo when we saw Chris & Kiki and their booth. We loved the idea behind the ministry, and purchased shirts right away! We've seen TEAM 413 at several expos since then, and are always encouraged! Chris encourages me with his Godly words! He directs me back to the cross and Jesus! TEAM 413 is honoring to the Lord and brings glory to Him in so many tangible ways!"

Andrea Schultz – TEAM 413 Ambassador – Novi, Michigan


"Chris once wrote, "Are you running to something that is unattainable or from something that you can't out run?"   This is just one of his profound quotes that can haunt you when you feel the most alone, in the middle of the night or during the tough part of a marathon. When there is a constant sound of shoes slapping pavement and we spend a few hours on the road alone with our thoughts, the ministry of TEAM 413 gives encouragement to those who know the truth and provides a beacon to those who need to run the race that really matters."

Paul Dillmuth – TEAM 413 Ambassador – Ashburn, Virginia


"They came up with the word 'passion' to describe Chris Gillespie. His story is how God has used a simple verse on the back of a running shirt to touch thousands of souls for Christ. His vision is an international fellowship of runners striding side by side spreading God‟s love. His mission comes to life in Philippians 4:13, sharing that through Christ, "all things are possible."

Mark Eldridge – Chief Administrative Officer – TEAM 413 – Nashville, Tennessee


"TEAM 413 was such an unexpected and much needed surprise! While at the 2009 San Antonio Marathon Expo, my parents and I were headed for the exit when we noticed the TEAM 413 booth. It caught our eye, and we stopped to check it out. It turned into a true "God" moment. Chris met a need that afternoon with his generosity and encouraging words. I left feeling revitalized about my situation and that of my dear friend. What a blessing that Chris and others have on their lives to support the world of runners and, at the same time, show Christ's love to those around them."

Mariann Robinson Burris – TEAM 413 Ambassador – Keller, Texas


"Chris is a dynamic speaker. He reaches deep inside his heart to bring you a captivating revelation of his inspiring TEAM413 Mission. Chris has a contagious enthusiasm for sharing the Word of God to a group of people or to just one lost soul searching for hope and a future. He is academically gifted, spiritually guided and a living testament to the astounding difference God can make in your life when you let go and let God do what God does best......lead you."

Faye Powell – TEAM 413 Ambassador – Little Rock, Arkansas


"The kids at Boys and Girls Town have lived a lifetime in their 8 or 12 or 14 years of life already. Many have been abused or abandoned and find it hard to find any meaning, purpose, or joy to life. Chris came to speak and God opened his heart and his mind to what these kids needed to hear. He shared personal experiences and goals that touched them, showed compassion and shined with the love of Christ. In short, he gave them hope that their tomorrows could shine brightly and that they too can have hope for their futures."

Carol Hodson – Boys & Girls Town of Missouri


"Chris, thank you for giving hope and encouragement to the kids of Boys & Girls Town of Missouri. Your love, strength and passion come to life through your personal testimony. You cannot help but to be touched by your message. It leaves you feeling inspired. The kids are still talking about your story! Clearly, the impact it has on them will be life lasting. Keep up the good fight."

Scott Dunn – Director of Social Services – Boys & Girls Town of Missouri