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Marathons provide spiritual experiences for local

It’s been said that a marathon is a charismatic event because some say it’s full of everything – drama, competition, camaraderie, heroism, but for Opp High School Assistant Principal Jimmy Reeves, it’s a spiritual event.

Reeves, who has competed in three marathons, said running has become a spiritual thing for him.

“I didn’t intend for it to be,” he said. “It’s difficult to explain, you get in a trance when you get up to 10 or 15 miles. It makes me feel closer to God.”

Reeves said running marathons isn’t something he pictured himself doing.

In fact, he said he’s always been an “athlete,” but “I’m not a ‘real’ marathon runner.”

More than three years ago, Reeves said his college roommate, who lives in Niceville, Fla., thought running marathons would be a good idea.

“We just do it for fitness and trying not to get old too fast,” he said.

Reeves said the pair has completed three marathons – one in New Orleans, one in Jacksonville and most recently, one in Washington, D.C. Reeves said he also expects to run in another marathon in New York City in November 2011.

“Most of them are fundraising deals such as for breast cancer awareness,” he said. “Most of the time we’re running to raise money.”

Opp High School’s Jimmy Reeves says running marathons is a “spirtual thing” for him. | Kendra Bolling/ Star-News

Reeves said he trains for about four months for each marathon, which are more than 26 miles long.

“It takes a lot of running and swimming,” he said. “You have to train really hard.”

Reeves said landing his new position as the assistant principal at OHS helped him greatly. Reeves served as assistant principal and softball head coach at Pleasant Home before this school year.

“I could come really early in the morning and run around the track (at Channel-Lee Stadium) and then go swimming at the Mizell Wellness Center.”

“Coming to Opp was really the only way I could have done this last one,” he said.

Reeves said he’s been amazed by what people who run marathons can do with their bodies.

“I really surprised myself,” he said. “I never thought I’d be able to do this. I can’t get over what the human body can do. It makes you more aware of your creator. I’ve always had a spiritual relationship with God, but this has enhanced it so much.”