Retired Priest Runs 30th Marathon

A retired 72-year-old man is by no means an average runner.  Father Bernard Marton is about to run his 30th marathon.

“It’s supreme uselessness. There’s absolutely no use to it,” Marton said jokingly.

Marton said after retiring as headmaster at Cistercian Preparatory School in Irving in 1996, he was out of shape and weighed about 210 pounds

He decided to start walking around the school track, which soon turned into running.

“I was able to run 400 yards. I was able to run 800 yards,” Marton said.

Within two years he completed his first marathon.

Five years ago, at the Cowtown in Fort Worth, he began running the Ultra Marathon — a 31.267 mile course.

Marton said when people ask why he runs, he answers,” Well, because it’s there. That’s the only reason. And then you don’t have to explain anything.”

Marton said there isn’t much religion involved in his running, other than planning his sermons while he runs.

He said it’s an example to his students of discipline and exercise.

“I talk to the kids and I show them my collection of medals and they say, ‘Can we do it?’ And I say ‘Sure you can do it!”

“And people actually get to like what they do. And there’s a thing as runner’s high. I don’t think I’ve experienced it. My runner’s high comes when I finish and I don’t have to do it anymore,” he laughed.

But Marton said don’t expect him to stop running anytime soon.

He has yet to experience a serious injury and while age might mean he’s not as fast as he once was, it is, however, just a number.

“I just simply have to accept the fact I’ve slowed down,” he said. “But I do it. And I finish it.”

Editor's Note: The original version of this article referred to Bernard Marton by the wrong name, the error has been corrected.

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