I also googled foundations to find one to help me support the families of those soldiers.
In 2008, we sent 266 kids to college who didn’t have to pay a dime.
Badwater selects the top 90 athletes in the world. So I called the race director.
The race director laughed. I needed to run a 100-mile race in 24 hours to qualify for Badwater. There was a qualifying race coming up on Saturday. I called on a Tuesday. I called my wife at work to let her know I was going to run 100 miles around a one-mile track.
At mile 30, 35, 36, started to feel the bones in my feet breaking.
At mile 50, 51, I started running and walking.
At mile 70, I sat in the blue lawn chair we’d brought. My wife said, “You don’t look good. You should go to the bathroom.” She’s a nurse. She should know. I couldn’t get up.
I said, “Honey, how much do you love me?” and I took a crap in that lawn chair.
Then, I started peeing blood down my leg. I was having kidney failure. I had 30 miles to go.
I sat in that nasty blue lawn chair and got an IV to get fluids, and after three hours, I started the race again. I was averaging 37-38 minute miles.
At mile 81, my wife said, “It’s over.” But I didn’t stop.
I finished that race and sat back down in the blue lawn chair.
My wife, who was a power lifter too, basically dragged me up two flights of stairs to our apartment and put me in the bathtub. I was in the worst pain physically but the best feeling mentally. All I could think about was calling the race director.
But Badwater officials had heard about my drama at the qualifying race and said “no”.
So I had one more month to qualify.
I went to see a Navy Seal physical therapist who put casts on my feet. And I did the HURT marathon in Hawaii. I was the 27th person ever to complete it. It was 33,000 feet of climbing–the equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest.
I came back and called the Badwater race director.