A local retired soldier is planning to run hundreds of miles to raise awareness for his fallen comrades. Augusta-native Scott Sunday says his goal is to run 50 marathons in 50 states before he turns 50.
He says he had only run two marathons before committing to run 50 marathons. He says he initially started the challenge to honor his friend, who was killed in action in Iraq back in 2004. But his running inspired him to not only honor his friend, but other fallen heroes as well.
"It actually started, I was just doing one marathon in honor of my friend, a fellow warrant officer, Scott Coulter, who was killed in Iraq. And after I did the first one, I just felt this urge to just continue doing them so I just decided to run one in each of the states on his behalf," says Sunday.
50 marathons in 50 states. It's a feat that others have done before, but for Scott Sunday, it's a challenge that has become more personal with each and every race.
"Along the way I met a gold star wife who lost her marine husband so I'm running for him as well. And I met a mother who lost her son also, so I'm running for the three of them primarily. And just to raise awareness for all the fallen heroes," says Sunday.
And what better way to raise awareness than teaming up with a nonprofit organization that helps post-9/11 service members, their families and families of the fallen. In a few weeks, Sunday will run a half marathon in North Carolina to raise funds for the nonprofit Hope for the Warriors. To inspire others to donate, Sunday will wear an elevation mask, which will make it difficult to breathe.
"It kind of symbolizes the gold star family members that have lost their service members. And they suffer every day to take a breath without feeling the pain of that loss. So it kind of symbolizes that," he says.
But the inspiration doesn't end there. Sunday will also wear a weighted vest during the 13.1 mile run.
"I started off initially I was going to wear it with ten pounds in it, and when I hit my initial goal, I decided to increase the weight two pounds for every hundred dollars in donations that I reach. So it's up to 23 lbs now," says Sunday.
Ironically, the retired chief warrant officer-3 was in the army for 23 years and he just finished his 23rd marathon in Indiana. He has raised $1,200 for the half marathon, but he is shooting for $2,000.
If you would like to make a donation for Sunday's run on May 18th, you can so by going to http://team.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1058366&supId=376595867
Sunday will complete his 24th marathon this weekend and he says he hopes to finish all 50 races by December 2014.
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