Man runs 77-mile Greenbrier River Trail in under 24 hours [Charleston Daily Mail, W.Va. :: ]
(Charleston Daily Mail (WV) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) June 29--When Jim Moore decided he would attempt to run the 77-mile Greenbrier River Trail in under 24 hours, he figured few other people would notice.
But as Moore reached the end of the trail in Caldwell on June 21 as the clock ticked toward midnight, he and his running partner, James Towey, were greeted by a crowd of supporters and had been followed by an even bigger crowd on social media, including West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin.
Moore and Towey ran the trail from Cass to Caldwell in 18 hours, 53 minutes, raising more than $4,000 for HospiceCare, an organization that serves 16 West Virginia counties. The longest Moore had previously run was 32 miles.
"When I initially thought about doing this, I thought it would be something I'd do privately and hoped maybe by word of mouth it might inspire someone to get up and enjoy their health and enjoy getting activity," Moore said. "My wife started advertising it on Facebook and letting people know what was going on and it took off. It has shocked me and humbled me the outpouring of support we got throughout the whole event."
Moore is a well-known runner in the Lewisburg area. He organized the first-ever Zombie 5K and half-marathon last year, which raised more than $5,000 for United Way of the Greenbrier Valley.
He said he has talked about wanting to run the Greenbrier River Trail in under 24 hours for several years, but he finally decided to do it a few months ago when Towey heard through a relative that Moore wanted to run the trail.
Towey, of Richmond, Va., had never met Moore, but the two were brought together by their mutual goal of running the whole trail in a day and started emailing back and forth to plan out their run attempt.
Moore said he just got back into running within the past six years. He ran as a student at Greenbrier East High School, ran some in college but then he says he got "fat and lazy."
About five years ago, Moore's grandmother passed away. After going through those tough times, Moore decided it was time to get back in shape.
"After my grandma passed away something struck a chord in me and I started running and exercising and I got back in shape," Moore said. "It's continued to progress and I don't know where it will end."
Moore chose to fundraise for HospiceCare because he says they took great care of his grandmother during her final days. He said "it was just the right charity at the right time" because HospiceCare just finished building a new, state-of-the-art facility in Lewisburg earlier this month.
The $2 million, 8,500 square foot facility officially opened June 4. Missy Van Buren, Marketing Director for HospiceCare of Greenbrier Valley, said the eight-bed private facility will be able to serve individuals who previously would have had to go to the Hubbard House in Charleston, more than 100 miles from Lewisburg.
"It's huge for our community," Van Buren said. "It's a really cool thing (Moore) did and I can't thank him enough for doing it for Hospice. I'm really happy he did it."
The United Way of the Greenbrier Valley handled the fundraising and passed the proceeds on to HospiceCare. Van Buren said the fundraising effort was way more successful than she had anticipated, but Cindy Lavender-Bowe, executive director of the United Way of the Greenbrier Valley, says she thinks even more donations will come in as word of Moore's accomplishment keeps spreading.
"We really expect we're going to get more as the attention grows," Lavender-Bowe said. "They had a great support team. They had people out at midnight cheering them on. I don't know how many people have talked about it."
Moore said throughout the run, a support team followed he and Towey on bikes to provide them with snacks and water. Their wives drove to access points along the trail to give them food and a place to rest before they took off for the next segment of their run.
"James and I both talked about it and we can't say enough how much their support meant and we couldn't have done it without their support," Moore said. It was a team effort with everybody because we couldn't have finished without them.
"Thinking about it in advance, I knew I'd be sore and there would be pain," Moore said. "When we got out on the trail and even the results afterward were far less dramatic than what I had anticipated. It was difficult, and tiring and painful but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be."
Moore hopes his accomplishment can help HospiceCare continue to enhance its services in the Greenbrier Valley, but he also hopes to promote being active and in shape. Moore says his job as a Department of Highways engineer is "reasonably stressful," but that exercise and running is what keeps him "sane on a day-to-day basis."
Moore said he doesn't know when he will try another long-distance run like the Greenbrier River Trail, but he is looking forward to the second-annual Zombie 5K and half-marathon, which is scheduled for Saturday, Oct 25. Registration for the race is open at www.tristateracer.com/rununited.
Pledges for Moore's run can be made by mailing a check to PO Box 572, Lewisburg, WV 24901. Checks should be made out to United Way and have "hospice" on the memo line. Credit card donations can be made by calling 304-647-3783.
Contact writer Marcus Constantino at 304-348-1796 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at www.twitter.com/amtino.
(c)2014 the Charleston Daily Mail (Charleston, W.Va.)
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