When Henry Ward hit the starting line of the Boston Marathon this morning, not many knew that this would be his fourth time in a row — in one day! That's right. Henry started running at noon on Sunday, the day before race day, so by the time the race started Monday morning — his first official Boston Marathon — he had already run the course three times. He took a two-hour nap between his second and third runs, then joined the crowds on Monday morning to begin his fourth and final run.
Henry is running 168 kilometres in the name of fighting alcoholism and addiction. He shared, "For 20 years — 20-plus years, I've used alcohol mostly, and drugs. My life was just spiralling out of control." He was losing his job, his wife, his family, and his life. He moved to Tempe, Arizona to get help, and for four years, remained sober.
Henry said, "I quickly learned that you have to help yourself before you can help anybody else," and getting sober was the best (and hardest) decision he ever had to make. That's when he found running, or rather, he said, "Running found me."
Five years later, he has tons of 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, and marathons under his belt. Ward said, "I really like the distance. I like the adventure in running," and now he's into ultramarathons. As a Boston native, qualifying for the Boston Marathon means something special, but he was itching to take it one step further and run the Boston Quad — running the Boston marathon four times.
He ran each of the three races in about five and a half hours. He did it for the challenge, and he said, "We owe it to ourselves to see what we're capable of." And for anyone who has doubts about accomplishing such a physical feat, Henry said, "You can do anything you wanna do honestly. It's just as simple as that."