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Pastor Runs 62 Consecutive Marathons To Raise Awareness for Adoption, Foster Care, Youth Mental Health, Breaking Guinness World Record

In addition to people reaching out to him through messages and phone calls, O’Brien said that, reminiscent of a scene from Forrest Gump, some have even joined him during his runs. Two notable companions have been former SBC Executive Committee president Ronnie Floyd and author and radio host Eric Metaxas, both of whom expressed that O’Brien inspired them.

“It’s so encouraging to hear from others and when we do what others think of as impossible,” O’Brien, the former SBC 2nd vice president, said. “It does more than motivate and inspire—it helps people to aspire to change that can happen in their own life.”

The pastor said that his average marathon time is around six hours. His fastest was four-and-a-half hours, and his slowest was around seven-and-a-half hours.

Running such distances requires a serious time commitment. Nevertheless, along with praising his wife for allowing him to tackle this Guinness World Record, O’Brien said that running “has increased my bandwidth and ability to do more in less time and be more efficient with what I am supposed to do.”

“Most pastors and leaders don’t realize that a healthier version of them spiritually, physically, emotionally, financially makes them a better husband, pastor, leader—you name it. And a lot of times, we have a lot of spiritual unhealth, because we’ve got a lot of physically unhealthy people.”

“Yeah, it takes up my time…but I’m still getting the right things done,” O’Brien said, sharing that he pastors while he runs by talking to people on the phone. He also spends a lot of time praying and thinking through sermon prep as he runs. Since running, “I have more joy, peace, and calm my life.”

With only one day away from the record, O’Brien said he has no plans of quitting—that is, as long has his wife lets him. The 39-year-old also wishes to surpass the women’s record, which is currently held by Kate Jayden, who ran 106 marathons in 106 days.

O’Brien has set a goal to raise $20,000, which he will use to help launch initiatives and bring awareness to the important causes he is running for.

“You don’t have to be famous to make lasting impact,” he said. You can donate here.