"I just want to finish," Paul said. "I'm still learning pace."
He readily turns to his dad, who has logged more than 65,000 miles running, for advice.
"Every time we talk it's 'How far did you run?'" Paul said. "His running has fueled my interest."
Paul said he's grown to love running so much that he rises at 4:30 a.m. to fit it in before he heads from his home in Fayette County to the Charleston area, where he works for a home medical device company.
"The other day I was late for work because I ran so far," he said.
A testament to how far he's come in such a short time came during a recent visit to a client's home to help with her oxygen tank.
"I had set her up four or five months ago and I told her I was the one who had done it. She was like, 'No, it wasn't you. His name was Paul and he was a big boy.'"
As they discuss running, something occurs to Dennis.
"Have you ever thought about doing a marathon? I've never asked you that," he tells Paul.
As a matter of fact, Paul has his sights set on a Huntington marathon in November.
Contact writer Monica Orosz at mon...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4830.
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41st Charleston Distance Run
* 7:30 a.m. Aug. 31, starting on Kanawha Boulevard adjacent to the state Capitol.
* Participants may choose a 15-mile race, a 15-mile relay with three people, a 5K run or walk or a 10K walk.
* To register, visit www.charlestondistancerun.com.