Tag Archives: ultra-marathon

Bob Marvel: Running an Ultra-Marathon for an Equally Challenging Cause


By Jeanne Halsey

In 1998, my husband Kenneth Halsey and our son Alex ran the Seattle Marathon together. Having only an observer’s understanding of the rigorous preparation—both physical and mental—that is required to train your body to run more than twenty-six consecutive miles (forty-two), I rightly came to honor and respect my men for their achievement; I fondly and proudly called them “demi-gods.”

In October 2001, we met Bob Marvel, a young pastor from Cornwall Church in Bellingham, Washington, who had developed his own fondness for running marathons; at the time, he had completed two or three marathon races and was hoping to qualify for the prestigious Boston Marathon. From his own wisdom and experience, Kenneth offered to purchase a particular pair of running shoes for Bob, and also supplied the airfare so he could travel further afield as he aimed for his goals. Simultaneously, I felt prompted to write an article, “The Running Pastor,” which was picked up by various online news agencies and subsequently received wide publication. In that essay, I likened Pastor Bob’s race-running experiences with his soul-winning strategies—both at which he was quite successful. The photos which accompanied that article were taken when he completed his first Boston Marathon (and yes, he and his wife Dorene were also running the 2013 Boston Marathon, when the tragic bombings took place; they were able to minister to and pray with many in the immediate aftermath). Continue reading