While most people were spending their Valentine's Day eating chocolate and enjoying time with those they love, Jared Ward was running 26.2 miles in the baking L.A. heat.
Averaging just over a five-minute-mile pace, Ward finished the Olympic qualifying marathon in third place (2:13), securing the last spot on the U.S. Olympic marathon team. Along with first-place finisher Galen Rupp (2:11:12) and Meb Keflezighi (2:12:20), the three men will be heading to the 2016 Summer Games in Brazil.
But Jared Ward's journey to the Olympics was not easy. An avid runner, Ward explains in a video produced by Saucony his struggles as a missionary, watching his weight increase as his endurance decreased. But, after serving the Lord and fighting to get back in shape, Ward is now living his lifelong dream.
A husband and father, Ward says, "I just feel so blessed. There are just so many people God has put in my life."
Check out more of Ward's story in the video below: