Five years after the formation of its own cricket team, the Vatican yesterday founded its first athletics association.
The running club consists of 60 members, including soldiers from the Swiss Guard, employees of the Vatican City State, officers from the city state's police force, priests and nuns.
Inspiration came from a group of Vatican employees who meet regularly along the banks of the Tiber, which curves through Rome just a few hundred yards from St Peter's Basilica.
The youngest club member is a 19-year-old Swiss Guard, while the oldest is a 62-year-old professor who works in the Vatican's Apostolic Library.
Aside from working up a sweat, the aim is to use sport to promote inter-religious dialogue and understanding.
The Holy See team plans to participate in competitions, such as the Mediterranean Games and the Games of the Small States of Europe.