Eddie Benton has more miles on him than some used cars.
The Baptist preacher estimates that since he began jogging in 1975, he has run more than 88,000 miles.
"I'm probably due an oil change and a front-end alignment," he said last week.
Those miles include 13 Boston Marathons, 55 other marathons and, soon, the first of what could be many, many Ironman competitions. Those consist of cycling 112 miles, swimming 2.4 miles and a full 26-mile marathon.
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It all started with just one mile.
"I just started running to get back into shape," said Benton, 59, now senior pastor at Lexington's Rosemont Baptist Church.
An athlete most of his life, Benton found himself out of college and carrying a little extra weight. He had been a bit of a jock in high school, but he had never done any serious running. It was the mid-'70s, and jogging was just springing onto the national consciousness. He got together some folks from his church in Bardstown, and they set out to walk or jog a mile once a week. Some of the dedication that would propel him to keep going thousands of miles later was evident even then: The group got together at 5 a.m.
Soon, Benton was jogging that mile three times a week. Then he started going a little farther. Next thing he knew, he was jogging several miles every day.
While attending seminary in Louisville, he ran in his first mini-marathon, and "my competitive nature kicked in."
He was off.
When Benton was 40, he came up with a novel way to celebrate milestone birthdays. He decided that for his 40th, he'd run 40 miles in a day.
"I said, 'If I am going over the hill, I'm going to run over it,'" he said.
He ran 50 for his 50th.
He's planning to run 60 miles in a day next year, when he turns 60 on May 2.
His plan is to break up the run in sections: Run 20 in the morning, do 20 more in the afternoon, and finish with a run with some of those folks from Bardstown with whom he started jogging three decades ago.
He's nonchalant about his regimen, saying he just tries to eat right and stay away from sweets. He attributes his long jogging career to high-quality shoes and a stride that is conducive to going long distances. And his only injuries haven't been from running, but from church basketball or softball games, he said.
Despite the laid-back attitude, he is serious about the benefits of pursuing his passion.
When he runs, especially in the mornings, he finds it a perfect chance to reflect, pray and talk to God.
"It's great for ideas for sermons, for just planning your day," he said.
And he said exercising is crucial in keeping down the stress that comes with tending to the spiritual needs of a congregation.
"A lot of guys in ministry that don't have some kind of an outlet to get rid of the stress, it becomes kind of a problem with them," he said. "This has been a great stress reliever for me."
Plus, he said, faith can come in in handy when you are at mile 25 of a marathon.
"I think to myself, 'This is nothing compared to what Jesus suffered through,'" he said, "and I just keep going."