Would-be NYC Marathon runner from Bloomfield runs 26-mile route around 1 block to raise awareness of homelessness


Like thousands of people, Jacqeline Murphy, of Bloomfield, was supposed to be running the New York City Marathon this weekend.

But the race was canceled because of the pandemic. So she decided to just run around the block 131 times, which is the equivalent of 26 miles on the streets of Newark. Four of them, anyway.

The block is home to Covenant House, which provides shelter and services for homeless youth, and where Murphy works.

In a Zoom chat Sunday, she told News 12 New Jersey that she was running to raise awareness and funds for Covenant House and the issue of homelessness.

“A marathon for me is really like such a parallel of life,” Murphy said. “It’s like this long journey, you can’t always write what’s going to happen, you can’t choose what the weather’s going to be like, and the kids at Covenant House are the most empowering, inspiring people that I could possibly run for. Because my run tomorrow, and my run whenever it is, has a finish line. I can see it, and I know what it is. I know it’s 26.2 miles and I’m done, and I can sit down and have another chocolate chip cookie or a have a piece of pizza or whatever. They can’t see their finish line, and they have to just keep going.”

So on a cold, rainy, windy day — as bad for running a marathon as it gets — the weather just underscored her mission.

Supporters and other Covenant House employees joined her one or two at a time, for a lap or two or as they could. And finally, a larger group for that one last lap.

And so Murphy’s race is done. Unlike the 30 kids inside the building for whom she ran it, whose race is far from over.


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