About HFP Racing | Shannon's Story

Shannon's Story

For him, it was a matter of life and death

HFP Man Running

There's a good chance you and I share a common passion. I love multisport, but this passion is only part of the story. I also have a passion for life and really want mine to count. I want the world to be a better place because I lived in it.

I am a Christian, but I am not a Protestant Christian or Catholic Christian or Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist or any other kind of man-made Christian. I want to tell you how God, Himself made me a Christian.

My story begins with my earliest memories. I always believed in God and thought I was a Christian. I was basically a good person and believed God would overlook whatever minor shortcomings I had. Besides, I never committed any real "big" sins. I went to church on a regular basis, mainly to please my parents and as a youngster, didn't really have a choice.

While my mother pursued a daily friendship with Jesus through Bible reading and prayer, my father never did. During high school my Dad left us and whatever faith I had in God at that time was shattered. My Mom still took us to church, but it wasn't the same. How could I believe in a God who would let us down when things got tough? And they did!

My Mom continued to pray for my Dad and I constantly questioned her asking, “Where is God?” and “Why doesn't He help us?” Through it all, deep inside, I was actually impressed with my Mom. She was the anchor that held our family together during those tough times.

Kurek family photo

Then, during my senior year of high school (1987) something awesome happened. My Dad made a commitment to live his life as a real Christian. Shortly after that, he made new commitments to my Mom.

My parents were remarried. My Mom's prayers were answered. This is where my story begins anew. However, I need to explain something that is very confusing and misunderstood by most people in America…even many who claim to be Christians. I need you to understand what a real Christian is!

According to a recent national poll, over 80% of Americans claim to be Christians. However, 75% of those cannot explain what that means according to the Bible. So, what exactly is a real Christian? A real Christian is someone who has confessed and renounced sin in his or her life and is committed to following Jesus Christ, the only person who could make a way for humanity to come into fellowship with God. The Bible has much, much more to say about living life as a follower of Jesus. My hope is that you will look into the Bible and see for yourself that what I am saying is true.

Back to my story — even though my Mom and Dad were both committed to following Jesus as real Christians, I was NOT and continued in my own ways. I finished my wrestling career in high school and knew I was not going to wrestle ever again — I needed a new sport to challenge me.

Shannon getting ready to start triathlon

Thankfully during my senior year I was introduced to multisport at a local running shoe store. A local "biathlon" event was scheduled for the spring. After completing this event (nearly last) I was hooked.

After a couple seasons of racing and a couple years of running wild with some of my training buddies I met Curt Haywood Sr. I met Curt at a local bike race (one of HFP's first ever events). Curt was the 1970 Mr. World in body building and now a master bike racer. He asked me if he could come up and train with me and I agreed. A few weeks later Curt arrived at my Mansfield home for that ride — a ride that would change my life forever. About 3 miles into the ride we approached a ½ mile climb on the way to a 40 mile loop through the Mohican State Forest. During this steady climb Curt looked over at me and asked this question “Shannon, do you know how I pick my friends?” and of course I had no idea. Curt continued “I pick my friends if they have the same best friend as I have — Jesus Christ!” I told him I too was a friend of Jesus (or so I thought). In truth, I was not. After the ride Curt invited me to his Church in Jersey, Ohio, near Columbus.

I soon was getting phone calls and unannounced visits from the associate pastor (Phil Duncan). It was then that I realized I had never fully given my life over to Jesus Christ. The fall of 1992 in my little apartment I prayed the sinners' prayer with Pastor Phil and gave my life over to Jesus Christ. I finally had the peace and purpose I was looking for.

Shannon Kurek

Now over 20 years later I can truly attest that Christ has continued to develop and mature my walk with God. This does not mean it has been an easy road. There have been times of great challenge and trial (personally and in business) — but Christ has always been there to ground me and to draw me near to Him.

Please, I beg you… If you are not a real Christian or if you are not sure, pray to God and ask Him to reveal Himself. Down through the ages, He has revealed Himself to countless people who have looked for Him and He has promised to reveal Himself to you!

It says in the Bible, “if…You seek the LORD your God, you will find Him if you look for Him with all your heart and with all your soul”. (Deuteronomy Chapter 4 Verse 29)

Please, if you don't know Him, look for him with all your heart and all your soul.

In closing, know that I am praying for you, that your quests in life will lead you to leaving a legacy that has eternal significance. I will gladly answer any questions you may have about being a Christian and completing the ultimate race — the race of life — well.

My favorite scripture comes from Proverbs (27:17) — “As Iron sharpens Iron, so one man sharpens another”. I thank the men that have helped me in my walk.

As Iron sharpens Iron, so one man sharpens another

Here are a few men who have kept me sharp:

  • Senior Pastor John Hayes (Jersey Baptist Church)
  • Assoc. Pastor Phil Duncan (Jersey Baptist Church)
  • Curt Haywood Sr. (1970 Mr. World)
  • Curt Haywood Jr. (founding member — Team HFP)
  • Randy Lehrer (Team HFP)

If you would like more information or would simply like to talk, please feel free to contact me:
Shannon Kurek, Founder HFP Racing