SWFL man runs ‘virtual’ Boston Marathon, raising money for St. Matthew’s House

Reporter: Gail Levy
Published: Updated:
Stan Schoenewald gets ready to begin his virtual Boston Marathon run. (WINK News)

Many people will compete in the Boston Marathon Saturday, but this year, they’ll do it from their own neighborhoods. That includes one man right here in Southwest Florida.

Around 30,000 people take off for the marathon each year. Stan Schoenewald planned on doing just that. But he just took off for his run right here in Naples in the Kensington neighborhood.

Schoenewald is one of the thousands that are lacing their shoes alone and running 26.2 miles.

Throughout the month of September, those who planned to be in the Boston Marathon switched to a “virtual experience.”

There’s one thing in particular that keeps Schoenewald’s feet moving.

“It feels good, you know? For a long time in my life, you know, I was not living the right way and then to just have all of these people support you, it feels good,” he said. “The members are gonna be out there, my kids will be here supporting me and cheering me along the way.”

Sure, you can wake up and say you want to run a marathon, but that’s no easy feat.

To qualify for the race, you have to raise money for a charity, and Schoenewald has one that’s close to home.

He’s a graduate from Justin’s Place Recovery Program, which is a part of St. Matthew’s House. Now, he’s asking people to donate food and money to the organization, helping others just like him.

“I was battling from drugs and alcohol but, you know, I went into St. Matthews House about five and a half years ago, so I’ll be celebrating five and a half years clean and serene and that’s when I turned to running. I needed a healthy outlet,” he explained.

As he completes lap after lap, he’s encouraging his neighbors to come out and cheer him along.

If you’d like to donate to St. Matthew’s House and the Justin’s Place Recovery Program, click here.

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