Nobody can say that Sam Fox doesn’t love his mother. The 24-year-old Rhode Island native just completed a grueling 2,396 mile run for her yesterday.
As part of his commitment to raise money for Parkinson’s research–a disease his mom has suffered from for the last 10 years–Fox set out to run the Pacific West Trail which stretches over 2,200 miles from British Columbia down to the Mexican border. Just to put it in perspective, this journey encompassed climbing 60 major mountain passes, descending 19 major canyons, passing more than 1,000 lakes, and traversing three National Monuments, seven National Parks and 24 National Forests. In fact, fewer people have successfully accomplished this coastal expidition than have reached the summit of Mt. Everest. And Fox did it in a matter of two months, averaging 41 miles a day.
His goal? To raise $250,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation and to show his mother how much he appreciates and loves her. In an interview along the way, Fox told MSNBC:
I’m doing this for my mother, to honor her, to thank her for everything she’s done for me.
Before he left on his journey, Fox explained on his website how he would prepare his body–and mind–for such a challenge–something he admits that he is more naturally equipped for:
I have always had a love for the outdoors. I have been hiking, climbing, camping, skiing…(insert anything else that people do outdoors here) for as long as I can remember. In recent years, while out on various solo trips, I discovered a cardiovascular, and pain endurance threshold that I did not know I possessed. For this particular challenge; running the entire length of the Pacific Crest Trail, I’ll certainly need a healthy tolerance for both. My training regimen is intense. It mixes extreme mileage with extreme terrain, and peppers in sleep deprivation, altitude training and injury tolerance. It takes place on roads, trails across the country (Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Mt. Rainier, the Colorado Rockies) through deserts, mountains, and forests. It takes place in weight rooms, in the back of my car, in the mud and in the snow. And maybe most importantly it takes place in my own mind, which must be conditioned right along with my body.
Even though Fox conditioned his mind and body well before beginning, that didn’t mean any stretch of the 2,000-mile-plus journey would be easy. In fact, when he was interviewed on the trail, he was having a particularly tough day, but reminded himself why he was doing this:
This is the hardest day of my life. No joke. My mother in essence fighting just like I’m fighting each day, fighting pain, fighting discomfort. I know that my pain will end and her’s won’t.
Congratulations, Sam for completing your journey yesterday! For more information or to donate to his fundraising, visit his website where you can also view an emotional video of him at the finish line.