BOSTON (CBS) – Sean Astin said he hasn’t been a member of an athletic team since 1989. But this spring, he’ll be a proud member of a team that honors someone he never even met.

Astin, who starred in a long list of popular movies including Rudy, Lord of the Rings, and The Goonies, is running the Boston Marathon this year after he was asked to join Team MR8, which benefits the Martin Richard Charitable Foundation.

Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray invited Astin to run in this year’s event.

The actor said it is “a dream come true” to participate in the iconic Boston Marathon.

“If I ever dared to picture myself running it, it would have been in a plain shirt. Now, the reality is that I will be in Boston in one month. I have been welcomed onto a team. I am running in honor of a boy I never met and a family I’ve come to admire,” Astin posted on Facebook.

Astin admitted that he never would have qualified to run the Boston Marathon on his own. But he also added that he is training hard in order to finish the race.

“I must earn my way onto this squad. My compassion and my earnest determination to work for Peace in this life have made me eligible. My desire to share Martin’s story and willingness to ask for help has secured my spot,” he said.

As a part of his run for Team MR8, Astin is asking for donations. As of late Friday afternoon, he had raised nearly $14,000 of his $15,000 goal.

To donate to Sean Astin and Team MR8, visit his online fundraising page.

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