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Priest prepares to run Boston Marathon for a special cause

Thousands of runners from across the nation will gather in Bean Town the 122nd Boston Marathon, including some reside...

Posted: Apr 16, 2018 2:52 PM
Updated: Apr 16, 2018 2:53 PM

Thousands of runners from across the nation will gather in Bean Town the 122nd Boston Marathon, including some residents from Connecticut.

While many people run the prestigious race as a personal accomplishment, others run for special charities.

Channel 3 Sports Reporter, Caroline Powers spoke with a priest from Hartford, who said he is a on a special mission to make this marathon his best one yet.

Father Ryan Lerner told Channel 3 Sports that he thinks of three things each time he laces up.

"Get through in one piece, glorify God, and in some way make it an offering for others," said Father Lerner.

An avid runner, 37-year-old Father Lerner said he ran track and cross country in high school, then he ran at Trinity College and stayed on as an assistant coach.

But, he said, at 28 years old, he said a message from God came calling.

"That was after college, after graduate school, working for a couple years, when I went to St. Joseph's in Yonkers and then Catholic U for the four years," said Father Lerner.

And in 2014, Father Lerner became an ordained priest.

Most of his days include mass, working as a secretary to the Archbishop and Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Hartford, but he said he always makes time to run.

"My running itself, I consider a gift from God. I'm grateful for it and to still be able to do something like this is very rewarding for me," described Father Lerner.

His accomplishment of running the Boston Marathons will make eight marathons for the priest.

"As a qualified runner, I want to run a certain time. It would be awesome if I could break three hours. That would be great. We'll see what happens," said Father Lerner.

But, his hour of running a day, is not simply just to stay fit, Father Lerner uses the hour to clear his mind and pray.

"The last 20 minutes of every run is the rosary. For me it's keeping my head together, getting ready for the day in prayer."

For this Marathon, Father Lerner said he is running for "The Hole in the Wall Gang" Camp, founded by Actor Paul Newman in the 1980s for children who are sick to let go and have fun.

"It's giving them a camp experience in the summer to be around other kids and people like themselves and with the kind of staff that can support them and cheer them on," said Father Lerner, with a smile.

"Raise a little hell as I think Paul Newman says in his description of it."

Father Lerner said he reminds himself that while running 26.2 miles is daunting, it pales in comparison to the challenges these children are facing.

"Kind of scariness of running a marathon and knowing your body is going to break down and it's going to be painful, and it's going to be mentally taxing," describes Father Lerner.

"But then what I'm thinking of is these kids, every single day, are up against these insurmountable obstacles."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 263023

Reported Deaths: 5752
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17675191
Hinds16813331
Harrison14224204
Rankin11167219
Jackson10839190
Lee9050144
Madison8568168
Jones6668114
Forrest6177124
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Lamar503965
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Monroe3671108
Union355663
Marshall355270
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Tate279662
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Pike268981
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Scott259648
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Holmes171768
Clay165837
Tallahatchie156235
Stone151425
Clarke147262
Calhoun140822
Smith129226
Yalobusha122034
Walthall114337
Greene113529
Noxubee112926
Montgomery111636
Carroll106622
Lawrence106517
Perry104531
Amite101426
Webster96124
Tunica88821
Claiborne88325
Jefferson Davis88329
Benton85623
Humphreys84624
Kemper80520
Quitman7089
Franklin69917
Choctaw63213
Wilkinson59825
Jefferson56821
Sharkey45117
Issaquena1606
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 439442

Reported Deaths: 6657
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson644371007
Mobile31435569
Madison28158217
Tuscaloosa21492275
Montgomery19873332
Shelby19248132
Baldwin17128189
Lee13137107
Morgan12594142
Etowah12070181
Calhoun11496206
Marshall10420123
Houston8988164
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Elmore8183110
DeKalb7871107
Lauderdale7847107
St. Clair7808130
Talladega6445112
Walker6028183
Jackson599145
Colbert548694
Blount546286
Autauga535862
Coffee460764
Dale409685
Franklin374150
Russell354215
Chilton344373
Covington338580
Escambia334544
Tallapoosa3143109
Dallas312996
Chambers303470
Clarke298036
Pike262431
Lawrence253355
Marion253161
Winston233342
Bibb222348
Geneva210247
Marengo208231
Pickens199531
Hale184944
Barbour180538
Fayette177829
Butler173160
Cherokee165131
Henry159525
Monroe152021
Randolph145536
Washington141727
Clay129746
Crenshaw123745
Macon121937
Cleburne121525
Lamar119922
Lowndes114836
Wilcox107922
Bullock103328
Perry99918
Conecuh97822
Sumter90527
Greene77923
Coosa63418
Choctaw51924
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