You will recall that ultra-marathoner Frank Fumich of Arlington and fellow endurance runner Matt Nelson of Lake Worth, Fla., set out on Tuesday morning to run 450 miles, from the Pentagon to the Boston Marathon finish line, to raise even more money for bombing victim Jeffrey Bauman and the family of eight-year-old victim Martin Richard. They had already raised $52,000, and now are going for $78,600, or $1,000 for every mile of three marathons.
Fumich has been chronicling the trip on Facebook with brutal honesty and morbid humor. As of 6:30 a.m. Friday, their continuous trading of 26.2-mile marathons — nine marathons apiece — had taken them to Milford, Conn. They hope to run the Boston Marathon course as a finale on Saturday. And they have now raised more than $65,000, or another $13,000 during three days of running on highways, scenic roads, crowded city streets and every other type of knee-pounding, foot-battering pavement between Northern Virginia and eastern Massachusetts.
Here are some of the milestones — I don’t think he’d call some of them highlights:
• Before the run even started, there was a great moment at a local Staples. Fumich said they had stopped at the office supply store to pick up some banners for the run, at a cost of $198. The clerk asked what they were doing. And then, after Fumich explained the run, the clerk took out his personal credit card, swiped it and said, “It’s on me, guys.” Fumich wrote, “Our mouths fell open!! He says, ‘Thanks for what you’re doing guys!’ AMAZING!! That might just be a good omen for us today on how this is gonna go!!!!”
Nelson and Fumich lined up police escorts for their run all along the East Coast. In the District, Fumich told an officer he didn’t want to hold up traffic and the officer told him, “This is an honor sir. You just keep running in the road and don’t worry about anything else!” They also got great treatment from the Baltimore City police, but in Pennsylvania they had no police help, Fumich wrote, and they had to drive through two stretches where it was simply too dangerous to run.
• At 3:07 a.m. on Wednesday, Fumich had to climb out of the van to run his THIRD marathon in 24 hours. He did it, finishing in Wilmington, Del. Later, Wednesday, he ran his FOURTH marathon. 104.8 miles. Then he returned to the keyboard.
“My combined time running is about 21 hours and I’m working on about 6 hours of sleep since Mon. I’ve been trying to figure out what day it is for the last 5 minutes and I just can’t think straight…but apparently I couldn’t think straight before, because I came up with this idea in the first place!!Ha Wow!”
• Thursday morning found Nelson and Fumich in northern New Jersey, and Fumich began the marathon that took them into New York City. The two ran together through midtown Manhattan traffic in the middle of the afternoon, with a New York police escort. “We literally stopped in traffic lights w the cars,” Fumich wrote, “just STANDING there during red lights while that merciless sun beat on my head like a hammer!!”
“We finally ran to Times Square and down 5th Ave and into Central Park but I was so totally and utterly spent, and dehydrated, with an empty stomach, and in survival mode, that I didn’t enjoy any of it!! My calves are twitching so bad it looks like an alien is trying to bust out! Half the muscles in my body are seizing…and weird ones too like under my chin, abs, feet, and even toes! But I’m still so nauseous that I can’t take much in (although I did have another bizarre craving for a chili dog when they guys told me they had one…and so managed to get that down)…not sure yet if its staying down!”
• Thursday night, the crew was out of New York State and into Connecticut. With delays, media interviews along the route and other detours, Fumich seemed to think they were a little behind schedule and their goal of a Saturday noontime finish. They are supposed to be met at the finish line by a representative of Martin Richard’s family, and then go to a barbecue with Jeffrey Bauman.
• Friday morning, Fumich finished his sixth marathon, 157.2 miles, after running in the dark from 12:45 a.m. to 6:15 a.m. “My buddy Joel Gat ran the whole thing w me,” Fumich wrote when he got back inside his support RV, “and we did it in about 5:30 but if you subtract all the stops (getting lost), we actually had a pretty respectable clip going on most of the time!”
To contribute to the Endurance Trust, the whole reason Fumich and Nelson are doing this, go here.
To follow the progress on a map, go here.
To follow more of Fumich’s postings on Facebook, go here. The fact that he is so verbose after going for six-hour runs, and so candid about his pain, and still somewhat lucid, is yet another amazing thing about this journey.