Saturday, January 25, 2014 marked a departure of sorts from the trail for a group that prides themselves as trail runners. The day introduced 91 participants to a 24 Hour Challenge hosted by the Greater Omaha Area Trail Runners and Lifetime Fitness of Omaha.
Seeds of the challenge were planted in 2013 when fellow GOAT Larry Kelley applied to run not one, but two segments of the first ever MS Run the US relay across America, raising funds supporting Multiple Sclerosis research. Larry who has a strong connection to the MS cause requested assistance from the G.O.A.T.z. in helping him reach his fundraising goal of $10,000. We were happy to oblige and The 24 Hour Challenge, formerly the Stay Awake Run Treadmill Challenge was born.
In 2013 nearly 60 people paid $15 each to run on treadmills, ride stationary bikes, swim, and more for up to 24 hours. Over the course of the 24 hours, new friendships were forged as was the desire of two more G.O.A.T.z, Laurie Halpenny and Jamie Plucker to be a part of the MS Run the US mission. In the end, over $1500 was contributed directly to Larry’s fundraising mission.
The 2014 edition of the 24 Hour Challenge began at 7:00 a.m. with over 40 runners starting the day. Over the course of the morning, challenge participants streamed into Lifetime Fitness to do their own thing. At several points throughout the morning, gym members could be seen scanning the floor for an open treadmill. The rules were as simple as they were last year for the first event; stay active for 24 hours or as long as your schedule or legs permit. It didn't matter if you were in the gym, at home, outdoors, across the country, in a pool, or on a bike.
Fresh legs became tired legs. Tired legs became delirious minds as evidenced by the change in attire throughout the day. Costumes quickly became a theme. Some embraced them more than others. All one has to do is check out the slideshow to see that fun ruled the morning, afternoon, evening, and for one last time, morning. When all was said and done, nearly $4,000 was raised this year. This is still only the tip of the iceberg. Wonder what 2015 will bring.
Thank you to Lifetime Fitness for welcoming us with open arms. Thank you participants for embracing the MS Run the US cause and our three G.O.A.T.z. Most importantly, thank you Laurie, Jamie, and Larry for giving us something and someone to rally behind. We are proud to know you and to follow your adventures this year.
44, 24 Hour Challenge participants submitted their results. In total, participants ran a total of 1381 miles, biked 340 miles, did 2 and a half hours of yoga and rowed 30 minutes.