A pastor in Missouri is on a mission to break the Guinness World record for the most consecutive marathon runs and create awareness on issues including adoption, foster care, and youth's mental health.
Christian Man on a Mission
Pastor Malachi O'Brien of The Church at Pleasant Ridge is gunning to break the current record held by Indian man Vishak Krishnaswamy, who ran marathons for 62 consecutive days. Krishnaswamy started running a marathon on Sept. 1, 2022, until Nov. 1, 2022, the Guinness World Record website said.
While the Indian's reason for his world record attempt was to 'challenge the considered normal living style,' Pastor O'Brien said he's gunning for the record to bring people's awareness to adoption and other issues close to his heart.
"My dad, who adopted me, passed away during the Covid Epidemic. He was always a huge encouragement and supporter of my dreams. I run every year in honor of him. This year I am running to break the Guinness World Record for most consecutive marathons run by a male. The number to beat is 60," O'Brien wrote on his GoFundMe page.
Pastor O'Brien said he is "intentionally bringing awareness on social media and launching initiatives." The Missouri pastor noted that his advocacies include shedding light on 'foster care and adoption, as well as youth mental health and how we can help families.'
O'Brien explained that people "don't have to be famous to make lasting impact." The Missouri pastor also acknowledged his goal's difficulty but said it would be "wporth it" once he's done.
He then asked for people's support through donations and sponsorships and invited them to become part of his journey.
His GoFundMe campaign currently has $2,715 in donations. He set his goal at $20,000, according to his GoFundMe page.
O'Brien's Awareness Campaign
According to an article by Church Leaders, O'Brien considers foster and adoption care and youth mental health as personal issues for his family. He disclosed that he was adopted when he was three, and his family has gone through the foster care system to adopt a child.
O'Brien also revealed that his oldest daughter nearly died via suicide just barely a year ago. The pastor admitted her daughter suffered from a mental health problem, which is why the experience made him and his wife aware of the issue among young people.
"As a pastor, and even as a father, my inability to truly see it for what it was and to truly know what was needed in that moment is what woke me up-I really think it's an epidemic and a crisis-so I'm wanting to raise awareness around that," Church Leaders quoted O'Brien saying.
Aside from his current Guinness World Record initiative, O'Brien disclosed that he and his wife eye mental health assistance programs in 2023.