Saint Ralph (2004)
- Summaries (3)
Saint Ralph is the unlikely story of Ralph Walker, a ninth grader who outran everyone's expectations except his own in his bold quest of trying to win the 1954 Boston Marathon.
It's the 1953/54 school year at St. Magnus Catholic School in Hamilton, Ontario. Fourteen year old Ralph Walker is in many ways a typical teenager. He is experimenting with smoking and is openly preoccupied with the opposite sex, which makes him the brunt of jokes amongst his male classmates and which constantly gets him into trouble with the school's strict headmaster, Father Fitzpatrick. As penance and to redirect his energies, Father Fitzpatrick orders Ralph to join the school's cross country running team under the tutelage of the school's avant-garde thinking teacher, Father Hibbert. Some of the more unusual circumstances of Ralph's life are that he lives by himself in the family home, telling the authorities that he is living with his paternal grandparents (who are in reality deceased), and telling his widowed hospitalized mother (Ralph's father was killed in the war) that he is staying with a friend. Ralph's focus in life changes after his mother falls into a coma. It will take a miracle for her to come out of that coma. After two unrelated and somewhat innocent comments made to Ralph by Father Hibbert on prayer, purity and faith and running the Boston Marathon, Ralph believes that that miracle will be him winning the 1954 Boston Marathon for which he only has 180 days to train. To obtain the necessary physical and spiritual requirements to achieve this goal, Ralph receives some help from his friends Claire Collins and Chester Jones, and from one of the hospital's compassionate nurses named Alice. Although he believes Ralph's mission is misguided, Father Hibbert, who has his own secret past running history, becomes Ralph's personal trainer. These actions place Father Hibbert and Ralph at odds with Father Fitzpatrick, who sees his and other authority figures' roles as needing to show Ralph his place in life.
Set in Hamilton in 1954, Saint Ralph is the unlikely story of Ralph Walker, a ninth grader who outran everyone's expectations except his own in his bold quest to win the Boston Marathon. Ralph is a fatherless 14-year-old with a seriously ill mother, who knows he's a time bomb waiting to explode into greatness, except that he has no idea where that greatness will manifest itself. An unfortunate incident of self-abuse in the community pool inadvertently sets him on this road when, as penance, Ralph is conscripted to the cross-country team. Desperate to believe a miracle will bring his mother out of a coma, Ralph becomes a convert to the church of running, and determines to win the Boston Marathon.
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