A sea of wide eyes reach to grasp the prize. Hope and fervour swirl through the air.
A voice bellows and the audience rise to their feet as if one. In chorus they pour out their heart's desire, some with tears in their eyes, others with wide smiles. Some stand with arms lifted in victory, others fall on weary knees, hands clenched to their hearts. All have been moved by an immeasurable, unexplainable force.
This could describe the scene at a Billy Graham rally or National Christian Youth Convention worship service. It could equally describe the crowd at a football final.
Irish academic and Psychology Today contributor Dr Nigel Barber said that psychologists and social scientists have noted that sport has many of the same effects on its spectators that religion does.
"Sports spectatorship is a transformative experience through which fans escape their humdrum lives, just as religious experiences help the faithful to transcend their everyday existence," he wrote in his article "Is Sport a Religion?" (November 2009).
We cannot deny the core purpose of Christian worship. As stated in the Uniting Church's foundational document, the Basis of Union (paragraph three): "The Uniting Church acknowledges that the faith and unity of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church are built upon the one Lord Jesus Christ."
Yet a great many more people are sitting in cold metal stadium seats each week than in our pews.
Bicycle Queensland Development Officer and former Journey editor Andrew Demack said being part of a sporting community can give people the emotional, social and sometimes spiritual support the others get from being part of a Christian community.
"I don't think sport or recreation replace church, well, not deliberately anyway. The struggle is for the church to be relevant and engaged in the questions that young people are talking about; to be a place (or a group of people) where people want to spend their time.
"Cycling lends itself to routine and ritual, and thus to the comfort that those things afford. Routine gives our lives structure, ritual overlays meaning onto the routine," he said.
"If you ride every week with the same group of people for two or three or four hours, there's plenty of shared experience, and plenty of time to chat," said Mr Demack.
"Whether it's an individual or team sport, or in a school or club context, the matrix for sport provides people with many opportunities to develop self-confidence, self-esteem, commitment and many other positive elements.
"The other important dimension is the fact that the individual becomes part of something outside of themselves.
"Many people I've spoken to over the years have shared how sport clubs have given them the things they have longed for: a sense of belonging; valued participation; positive connections with others; and a sense of community."
As a minister in a sporting context Mr Senituli said it was important to assist players on a spiritual and emotional level.
"There is immense pressure for some of those young blokes to deal with fame, money, and other related life issues … the chaplain can assist in an unobtrusive manner by just simply being available."
Few things are as divisive as sport or religion but the challenge for Christians is to play the game well and fairly and to represent their faith in all they do.
Running the good race is only the beginning.