Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Final Post - Thank you

Well only 48 hours or so and we begin. This will be my final blog post till after the run, I am basically going to sleep the next two days away, so this “posting” will be a bit lengthy.

This whole thing started with a phone conversation between Dan Elsener and I, the next thing I know he is talking to Pam Reed, probably one of the greatest runners to ever walk the earth, who by the way makes my 224 miles look weak – she has gone 300 plus. She gave him great tips and pointers, we then got the permission from Angel (my wife) and then added Kyle Amos who is a very experienced ultra runner and knows the rigors of a multi-day event. The next thing we know a goal of $25,000 is set and it’s been a blur since then.

So this summer I decided that I had to learn how to “run smart” finally. I am by no means a “great” or “elite” runner but I do have my days that I liked to try and run fast and be competitive, I had to completely shut myself down to that type of running and learn to run slower and easier, this was much harder than I ever thought. Throughout the summer I averaged around 130 miles a week usually doing at least 20 plus miles a day during the week and 30 or so each day on the weekends. We had a VERY hot summer in Kansas this year, basically 2 months that we hovered in the mid-90’s or triple digits. It was a real gut check, but I listened to my body and trained smart. I was humbled many times at the park or on training runs when people would pass me and I would think to myself “that guy or gal should not be passing me”. I had to listen to people run their mouths at races and question why I wasn’t racing, not like it was any of their business, but Angel, Kyle and I decided that racing was not going to happen. Why chance an injury when there is a greater goal to be accomplished. So I ran 3 or 4 – 50mile races, a 40 mile race a handful of 50k and marathons and then paced my good friend Rick Mayo back the last 50 miles of the Leadville 100. This entire time I stuck to the plan and took it easy, GOD kept me healthy and injury free.


This past weekend we reached our $25,000 goal. I have made it a point to never use “I” or “me” throughout this process; it was all of YOU who made this happen. There are a lot of happy Wounded Warriors and families out there right now who are getting care and necessities they need because of YOU. I am merely a “tool” that is being used to earn that money. There are times I watch the news and listen to the media and think what happened? Are the wounded veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan going to go through the same garbage the Vietnam Veterans had to endure? Then I think about this fundraiser and all YOU great people and then I say to myself “not on my watch they won’t”!!!! I am renewed as I hope you are too, that there are still GREAT Americans out there who care about their wounded veterans and want to make sure they are taken care of. We have over 10 pages right now of people who donated on the computer, I would love to type out all your names but I have to start running Thursday and if you know me I would be well into the weekend before I pecked away 10 pages. So with that being said, thank you to all who donated! You will never know how much it means to me and the men and women you are helping, I pray that GOD richly blesses ALL of you for your donations and support. It’s not often people go out of their way for others anymore in our society, each of you who donated did just that and should feel GREAT about it!!! When people ask me who my hero is, I will just show them the 10 pages of donations and say take your pick. Thank you.

OK, the $25,000 question. “Will you run all 224 miles”, answer= NO!!!! Sorry if I disappointed you, but I am not that tough. As many of you know I have ran multiple 100mile races, so we are going to treat the first 100miles like we would any other race, just at a much slower pace. After 100miles I am in new territory, the furthest I have ever gone on my legs is right around 32 hours at the HURT 100 with Kyle. I would like to still be “trotting” at the end but that is very wishful thinking. I will run as long as I can and then some, but I will have to walk at some point, then I will try to run again. We are setting a time limit of 60 hours, so that way I don’t get weak and walk the whole thing. Would I like to be done sooner, you bet I would! Am I going to try and finish sooner, you bet I am!! Dan named this fundraiser “Tony’s 224mile Trot – Honoring their Sacrifice”. How would I be honoring anything if I do not give 110% and when that 110% runs out, suck it up and find more! I have prepped myself mentally for pain and fatigue that I have never even come close to in my life, but I will heal, my swelling will go away. The traumatic brain injuries, the PTSD, the missing limbs of our veterans, those are permanent. For those of you coming out to run with me or those of you that are going to be there I am telling you right now, PUSH ME! Make me work through the pain, when I cannot run I will walk and if my legs quit working completely I will get elbow and knee pads and crawl. Unless something major happens to me medically, I will finish, it’s not optional at this point and if it takes me 80 hours to finish, I will finish!

Final Thoughts
This has been a great experience for me both physically, mentally and spiritually. I know that GOD has a plan for all and the way this thing is shaping up, I truly feel that this is part of GOD’s plan for me. If you want to stay up to date on our progress throughout Angel and the crew will be updating the facebook fanpage, her facebook page and also you can call or text anytime. My phone number is 316-253-6915. Angel will be doing what she does best, using the iPhone!!! Take into consideration that we will be in pretty desolate areas in parts of it, so reception could be hit and miss. If you would like to link up with us along the route just get a hold of Angel and she will give you an estimated time of when we may be there. Thank you again, all of you. I hope to be writing you Sunday night September 12th with great news of our finish!!! SEMPER FI, Tony


  1. God speed Tony, run smart and have a good time, you've been working hard for this all summer. Phil will be out running with you and I will have you all in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. Can't believe it's time already! I'll be praying for you Tony! Awesome job :)

  3. Is your route posted somewhere? Will you be going through Derby, KS?