Priest runs marathon

SHELBYVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)-- Mike Tobin loves to run. He's done 34 marathons in 19 states.

"All you need is a pair of shorts and some shoes," said Tobin.

He'll spend months training, and while race day is the ultimate payoff, it's the discipline Tobin loves.

"It's my time. And it's the time when I can think for myself, pray. I also just like the discipline of it," he said.

Running is his passion. But he also has another, higher calling.

"The shoulders go up and they say 'did I call you Mike? Am I supposed to call you Father Mike?' It's like 'hey we're out running.' If you can talk and run that's amazing," said Father Tobin, who serves the Church of the Annunciation in Shelbyville.

He's celebrating his 25th anniversary in the priesthood by running the Boston Marathon, which is his 35th race.

"This is so special for me," said Father Tobin.

He's been training for the 26.2 mile run for the last three months, juggling running and his responsibilities at the church.

"About a half dozen times in the last three months of this training cycle, I've had to run at 8, 9, 10 o'clock at night," he said.

It's not uncommon for Father Tobin to combine his passions. Running is often featured in his sermons.

"Although I try not to talk about running in every homily or sermon, because there are limits to people's patience," said Father Tobin.

He's continuing his will to serve on the race course, running Boston as a charity runner for the David Ortiz Children's Fund.

"He said I'm going to take some of my fame and leverage it. I'm going to promote raising funds and he put the seed money in, so that we can pay for surgeries," Father Tobin said describing the work of the charity.

Father Tobin started with a goal of raising $10,000. Then donations started rolling in. "Would you believe I received an anonymous $10,000 donation?" he said. "I thought $25,000 was unreachable, but something people would be inspired by. How do you top that, when I'm over $30,000 now?"

He now hopes to raise $40,000 by race day.

"The funds that I'm raising and every time I can multiply five, another child gets a surgery," he said.

As race day approaches he's focused on training for the tough run.

"I want to be fit at mile 21 when I'm through with the Newton Hills, and now I can see Boston downtown, that's when the race starts."

And while he knows the iconic race won't be easy, he knows his faith will keep him running.

"When you are fatigued and you're asking yourself, I wonder if this is just that much of what Jesus felt carrying that cross," said Tobin.

Click here if you'd like to donate to Father Tobin's cause.

Copyright 2019 WDRB News. All rights reserved.