It’s always inspiring to hear about people who go out of their way to help the less privilege. And so, when a U.S. Marine Corps veteran found the opportunity to raise money for his favorite causes, he didn’t mind running cross country just to achieve his goal.
Meet 79-year-old Tom Knoll, a retired U.S. Marines and original Iron Man competitor from Hawaii, who began the 1,620 mile journey on Memorial Day. He passed through three Heartland states on Sunday, averaging around 30 miles a day. His journey is taking him through Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota to the Canadian border.
Knoll is running to raise money for the Sunshine Foundation, Wounded Warrior Project, the Jimmy V Foundation and the Rotary Club of Honolulu to eliminate polio. He is expected to get to Canada by the end of July.
“I’ve already gone over the million dollars, so this is just sort of a victory lap,” said Knoll, referring to his being able to surpass his goal of raising $1 million for his favorite causes in 2012.
“A lot of its mental. You’ve gone out and said you are going to do something, you know what you are doing it for and it’s an obligation to finish,” Knoll adds.
Knoll started his running career in 1974 at his early 40s, when he was still serving in the Marine Corps. He joined a group of Marines who ran over 10 miles every day and soon he began racing in marathons and ultra-marathon events. Knoll claims that this cross country trek will be his last.