Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mission Accomplished!

It has been about 4 days now since finishing our final piece to the fundraiser, all of my swelling is gone and I am walking pretty much normal again. It will be a while before I run, but the itch is still there! Over the last few days I have been writing a "run report" but when I got 5 or 6 pages in and wasn't even half done I called it quits. I am sorry to say but there is just no way I can do all of you who helped me justice with words. Over the course of last weekend I seen first hand what this great nation is about and that's honoring those who have sacrificed for it. I have gotten many "atta boys" and "good jobs" from people but to tell you the truth I feel as if I am not worthy to stand in the presence of a military man or woman who has been shot, taken an IED blast or came home with limbs missing. And to be honest with you, I feel I never will.

This fundraiser to me was something very special, it was larger than anyone person. I was just informed today that we have another $500 plus coming in which is going to bring us very close to $32,000 and I use the word "us" because all of you who donated were just as much a part of this as me or any of the crew. I am going to give you a couple of key things that happened and if you followed Angel's updates on facebook you should beable to fill in the rest.

-At 10:00pm Thursday Sept. 9th we left Nebraska and headed south, I was sent off by some of the American legion Riders, local fire dept, police and a group of hardcore Americans. it was drizzling and they waited in that for us! - Some time around 2 or 3am on Friday morning the American Legion Riders escorted me through Concordia, still drizzling and they showed anyway.

-Around lunch time or a bit after on Friday we entered the town of Salina. Huge American Legion Rider escort and tons of support from local citizens. It was getting very hot, my wife rode next to me on a bike and helped me through. When I told her I was getting hot she looked me square in the eye's and said "were Clark's, we got this"! I never complained to her again about the heat.

-Just before Linsborgh I started to overheat pretty bad, my crew made the call to put me in the RV and cool down for a bit, best move they could have made, thank you guys! -Cooled down my body and went through Linsborgh, another ALR's escort and tons of citizen support, nothing better than small town Kansas. Some of the most Patriotic people you will ever meet!

-Getting to be evening time and we made it through McPherson, now we are half way but the afternoon heat took it's toll on my body. Took a good 20 to 30min nap and was greeted by a lot of people trying to get me through the night. The next few hours were brutal, could not get my legs to work and my stomach went south. Had to vomit multiple times, this was the slowest part of the entire run. Brandon, Fernando, Debbie, Coleen, Matt, Randy, Winston and probably others I forgot somehow pushed me through and we got past Hesston.

- Just before the sun came up another short 10min nap and my stomach final started coming around. One of the ALR's drove all the way to town to get me some Cream of Wheat that my crew requested? Where this idea came about I still do not know, but it saved me literally. I ate that and I was brand new, we made great time to Newton. - I picked up Stuart in Newton and he stayed with me all the way to the border, thank you Stuart. It seemed like we flew through Newton and I was eating solid food and feeling great. Just before Park City it started getting hot again and I had to sit for about 15mins and let my core cool down. Once I did that and got to running it is all a blur. I do remember coming up on some road construction that detoured us about one mile, so actually we did 225 miles. It was a bridge out just before Wichita and the Wichita FD volunteered to get the safety stuff out and lift me across!!!!!!! The powers that be shut that down though, that one mile I walked the whole thing I was pretty upset. Then at the end of the detour tons of friends were waiting for me and I went from 0 to 100 super quick. A couple of hugs later and Wichita here we come.

- Wichita was like a big party, tons of running friends were there, the ALR's showed in a HUGE force and support was out of this world. The Wichita PD was the only law enforcement agency in the entire state that decided our event was not worthy of an escort for some reason??? So the ALR'S took it upon themselves to play traffic patrol, I am so in debt to those ALR's it's unreal.

- 47th and Broadway did me in pretty good emotionally, lucky I had my sun glasses on. The ALR's lined both sides of the streets holding flags and it gave me chills down my spine. Then I looked to my left and seen my Grandma Clark holding a big flag yelling "go Tony", I think Stuart knew that got to me. Like I said, luckily I was wearing sunglasses still.

-The AlR's got us all the way through Haysville and i was moving pretty well until about 15 miles till Wellington. The sun went back down and this was night #3 and my body was telling me. It was slow going but we made it to Wellington about 2 or 3am and was greeted by people to my disbelief and the Mayor!!! Like I said, nothing better than a Kansas small town, they bleed Patriotism.

- After Wellington my legs could not muster much running for the last 20 miles to the border. Every once in a while I could a very sad trot or jog, but it was pretty weak. I was still powerwalking at a good clip so I stayed with that the best I could. It seemed to get very cold and my body could not maintain heat anymore. I was layered up pretty good and just tried to put one foot in front of the other.

- About 10 to 12 miles to go and I saw my 3rd sunrise and also got another good burst of energy. I could jog a little more but my powerwalk increased and helped knockout the miles. With about 5 to go the entire crew minus drivers got out there with me, again I had my sunglasses on and none of them have heard this till now but I fought back a lot of tears. These people had been with me for over 2 days waiting on my every need and I had no way to show how much that meant to me. It was tearing me apart.

- The last 1 1/2 to 2 miles I did with just Angel. We talked and laughed and it seemed kinda unreal we were finishing. We ran quite a bit of this, how I have no idea? About 3/4 mile from the finish was a Sumner County Sheriff with a flag standing by the side of the road at attention. This was the final burst of motivation I needed, Angel and I started to jog and didn't stop till the finish. Nothing better than sharing one of the most memorable times of my life with the woman I cherish the most!

For those of you that know me, you know that I put 100% faith in GOD to get me through this run. Angel and I prayed to Father Kapaun often and I spent a lot of those hot miles asking GOD to give me mental strentgh and some how find a way to glorify him in what I was doing, hopefully I did that. To my core crew and all who ran with me, I believe we have all spoke since and I want to thank you again. To those of you who donated and helped in anyway thank you. This was a great event and re energized a lot of people, me especially. I was beginning to think America was completely gone, but this past weekend all of you reassured me she is far from gone and still loves the veterans of this country.

This will most likely be the last post to this blog, I would like to take one final opportunity to thank all of you and thank you for humbling me with the things I do and the support you showed this fundraiser and the Wounded Warrior Project. May GOD richly bless all of you, in all you do. Semper Fi, Tony.


  1. We love you, Tony...and we love our veterans and their personal sacrifices to our great country.

    Happy trails,
    Ben & Sophia

  2. God bless you, Tony & Angel. Not only did you raise a boatload of money for a great cause, you did so much to raise awareness of the needs of our wounded warriors & their families as well as inspiring a lot of folks in the process.

    My guess is that you have lit a spark in a lot of folks. More "fruit" will be borne from this effort than what is tangible today.

    Mark & Carolyn Berry

  3. You are a true inspiration! You have touched more lives than you met as you completed this great tribute! Thank you!
    Indika McCampbell