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Marathon or adoration: why choose? Try Adoration Ultra!

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Bérengère de Portzamparc - published on 02/18/24

This past January, Jimmy Coleman, an ultra marathon runner, joined his athleticism with his faith for the first time. His website invites others to join him.

Jimmy Coleman, an American Catholic and keen runner, is the organizer of “Adoration Ultra.” The goal: 50 miles of running, interspersed with several periods of Eucharistic adoration along the way. A way of putting Christ at the center of his life, even in sports.

An ultra marathon is any race longer than the regulation 26.2 miles of a normal marathon. It involves pushing your body’s performance to the limit. Jimmy Coleman, an American sportsman, entrepreneur and family man, has taken up the sport in recent years. As CNA reports, however, Coleman has added an interesting twist. He has started organizing a rather special version: “Adoration Ultra!” His goal, according to local paper the Catholic News Herald, is to create awareness of the Eucharist:

Adoration Ultra is totally in your face with the intention of bringing attention to the Eucharist and giving historical context to it, so some of the draw is educational and some of it is people seeing the reverence we place before the Blessed Sacrament.

He ran the first Adoration Ultra on Friday January 26. Setting off at 7 a.m., he covered 50 miles, stopping along the way at five Catholic parishes in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, where he lives. He spent half an hour in Eucharistic adoration at each one. That’s two and a half hours of prayer! And A camera crew followed him throughout the day, with the idea of making a documentary.

Rediscovering the Eucharist

Where did he get the idea for “Adoration Ultra?” From his rediscovery of, and newly deep love for, the Eucharist. This happened after he became a father and after several years of exploring Protestantism. “There’s that moment when you’re about to receive the Eucharist in Mass, and I’m not sure that all people realize what they’re walking up to and what they’re about to do. And I’m hoping that this will make them think about that more deeply before they receive the Eucharist,” he told CNA.  “For Catholics, I’m hoping that it reinvigorates their faith and lets them know how precious what they have is … people are just going through the motions, don’t realize what they’ve been granted with.”

With this in mind, as the head of a marketing company, he set up a website inviting anyone to sign up for information on future Adoration Ultra events.

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