What Tylre Butler lacks in running skill and experience, he makes up for in other areas.
Generosity is one, though if you were to ask the 25-year-old True Life Church youth pastor why he’s hitting the road later today (May 31) and running 27 miles from Racine, WI, to Milwaukee, all to raise money for victims of the recent Oklahoma tornado, he’d likely downplay the selflessness of his act.
“I’m sure it’s gonna be painful; I’m sure I’m going to have some hurts in places I didn’t even know existed,” Butler, a self-professed novice runner, told Oklahoma’s Journal Times. “The pain that I’m experiencing, what I’m going to be going through, is nothing compared to people in Oklahoma who lost their house, their everything.”
The fact that 10 of the 24 people killed by this month’s violent storm were children was a major reason Butler opted to get involved. Until a few days ago, the farthest he’d run was eight miles, but since creating the Running4Relief website and setting a fundraising goal of $10,000, he’s set his sights on 27 miles.
“I’m a youth pastor, and so kids and youth are a passion of mine, helping them out is a passion of mine,” Butler told local NBC affiliate TMJ4.
He’ll be joined along the way by friends, family, and supporters, and if all goes according to plan, he’ll finish up on Milwaukee’s Bradford Beach, where he’ll throw “a little party” in hopes of raising even more money for his cause.
As of yesterday morning, he was a quarter of the way to $10,000, and he took to Twitter later in the afternoon to announce that donations were rolling in. The Oral Roberts University graduate also served up a bit of e-preaching, though the message was a universal one bound to resonate with people of all faiths.
“Give. And it will come back to you,” Butler tweeted. “It’s called sowing and reaping. A biblical principle that cannot be broken.”
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg