One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville

by Jordan Foley, Student Public Relations Writer

A lifetime goal for many runners is to run a marathon. According to the U.S. Census, only 0.17% of the world population has run a single marathon, much less multiple.  

Dr. Daniel Estes, distinguished professor of Old Testament at Cedarville University, has run eight marathons in his lifetime, including several in Columbus and Boston.  

As a young boy, Estes always had a passion for running. Estes' father, who grew up in New England, told him about the Boston Marathon and how it was approaching its 100th anniversary. “I thought that it would be a goal to run in the Boston Marathon, even though I had only run a maximum of five miles at that point.”  

Determined to achieve this personal goal, Estes, a resident of Columbus, Ohio, ran 40-50 miles per week for a year until he reached the qualifying time of 3 hours and 20 minutes for the 1996 Boston Marathon. 

The qualifying time came in November 1995 as Estes finished the Columbus Marathon in 3 hours and 16 minutes – all in freezing 22-degree weather. This accomplishment qualified him for the Boston Marathon and the completion of a long-standing dream and goal.   

He didn’t stop there. Estes continued to run seven more marathons over 12 years. This interest in running became one of his talents and passions.  

Estes considered running as a form of worship to glorify God.  

“In many respects, I enjoy training more than the races. I’ve enjoyed getting to be in God’s creation and worship God while I’m running,” said Estes. “I typically pray as I run and use it as a time of worship. I am out there at 5:15 in the morning and get to start the day talking to the Lord.” 

His passion for running also spilled over to his colleagues at Cedarville University. 

His passion for running also inspired some of his Bible faculty colleagues at Cedarville University, as several of them, including Chris Miller, Senior Professor of Biblical Studies, and Scott Dixon, Professor of Bible. He reflects on how uplifting it was to watch everyone run at their own pace and discover ways to help each other along the way. Miller and Dixon cheered on Estes as he ran in the Columbus Marathon in 2005.  

“One of the things that is nice about marathons is that everyone has their own goals they are shooting for, and we find ways to encourage each other,” said Estes. 

On mile 18 of his 2008 Columbus Marathon, he suffered a torn meniscus. He finished the marathon and was limping at the finish line. It took months for him to heal. With the medical advice from his doctor, he chose to end his running career. 

 However, he still searches for ways to glorify God despite his injury and finds other alternatives to be active, such as taking long walks.  

“It's good to have a goal that is bigger than what I can do. A lot of times we sell ourselves short and give up without putting in a full effort," said Estes. "There is something to be said for taking a big project like that and figuring out ways to prepare for it well. The satisfaction that comes from saying, 'That was a stretch, but I got that done and God enabled me to do that. It’s not just about running a race; it’s about facing life’s other challenges and realizing that God helped me in that impossible thing before and he will help me now.' ” 

Although Estes is not running any marathons anymore, he still runs the race God sets before him and finds ways to glorify God and leave a legacy that inspires others.  

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is a Baptist university with undergraduate programs in arts, sciences, and professional programs, and graduate programs. With an enrollment of 5,456 students in 175 areas of study, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio and is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, and high graduation and retention rates. For more information about the University, visit

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