Found on RunnersWorld.com and written by Brian Dalek
The Rev. Michael Alello set two PRs at the Louisiana Marathon on Sunday: a 4:03:28 for the actual race and an even more impressive 27-minute Catholic Mass that began an hour before he ran his 26.2 miles.
As he told Runner’s World last week, Alello offered runners a chance to gather and pray at St. Joseph’s Cathedral, which is just a few blocks from the race’s start and finish line. About 800 people took him up on the offer of his “26.2-minute” Mass, making it a standing-room only gathering.
“For 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning, that’s pretty awesome,” Alello told Runner’s World on Tuesday by phone.
Even with longer than expected lines for communion, the Mass ended in about 27 minutes—and yes, there was a running clock in the sanctuary by the altar. Runners were welcomed to attend the Mass in their running gear before heading to the starting corrals.
Alello joined them by having his running shoes, leggings, shorts, and shirt on under his vestments. “I had my fuel belt on as well because the microphone did not have a clip, and I didn’t have pockets in my running shorts,” he said. “So my microphone was attached to me with my running belt.”
While he said he’ll gladly do this service again for the Louisiana Marathon, which drew about 4,000 racers that morning among the full, half, and quarter marathons, Alello isn’t sure he’ll attempt his sprint Mass at marathons in other states.
“My hope would be that other churches in downtown areas or near starts see this as an opportunity to reach out and minister to folks who are coming to run from all over,” he said.