Sometimes, all it takes is a “zany stunt” to get people inspired.
So says Larry Grogin, a chiropractor from Franklin Lakes, NJ, who left on Sunday, April 13, for a really, really long workout—even by his standards. The 28-time Ironman participant is running 250 miles to Boston, where he’ll then compete next Monday in Beantown’s famed marathon.
Grogin clearly has a thing for distance. Last fall, the veteran marathoner took part in a 24-hour race, and he and running partner John Renaldo bookended last month’s NYC Half with same-day five- and 10-mile runs—but he’s not trekking to Boston for the heck of it.
As of Sunday afternoon, he and Renaldo had raised more than $200,000 for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a charity founded by the late actor Paul Newman in 1988. The project seriously ill young people experience camp, and it’s that mission that’s driving Grogin to cover marathon-plus distances each day between now and next Saturday, when he plans to reach Boston.
"Some of these kids have been robbed of their childhoods, and thanks to Paul Newman's camp they're able to bring that back," Grogin told NJ.com.
Grogin also ran last year’s Boston Marathon to raise money for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, but he unfortunately never got to finish. He was on his way to the finish line when the bombs exploded, killing three people and injuring 264.
"It was incredible to be at the runner's high at the end of the marathon last year and suddenly the bottom fell out," he said. "It was such a horrible surprise and end to a wonderful and special day."
As of Monday morning, Grogin had hauled in $25,300 via his own CrowdRise.com account, and while he and Renaldo have certainly proved adept fundraisers, he’s got an even larger goal on the horizon.
“Can we raise 1 million dollars by the start of the Boston Marathon?” he writes on the page, though which supporters can donate. “I will be running 250 miles hoping to receive Just A Buck or more from each and everyone I see from now till the end of the race!”
“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