Never underestimate the will power of one man, his support team and his desire to tackle hunger along with 400 miles of terrain all across Colorado. For one Fort Collins resident, Phil Purdy, this extraordinary effort becomes reality July 19-20 at the EPIC Rocky Mountain Relay, followed by the ninth annual Wild West Relay on Aug. 3-4. To raise funds and draw attention to the needs of the hungry in Larimer County, Purdy has set his sights on 400 miles of solo running — the equivalent of 15.27 marathons in a row.
This adventure will take Phil all across Colorado in a two week time span — from Canon City to Crested Butte for the EPIC Relay and from Fort Collins to Steamboat Springs for the Wild West Relay.
An ultrarunner is defined as a person who runs/races distances greater than a marathon (26.2 miles) with race distances typically 50K (31 miles), 50 miles, 100K or 100 miles. Normally, each of the 200 mile relays are run over a 24 hour period by teams of 3 to 12 people, alternating between running and resting. Phil has committed to run each of these races solo in an effort to draw attention to the need of our local food bank and the national need of food banks due to our nation’s downturned economy.
This physical, mental, and spiritual feat will be accomplished by one runner and a support team of ten. When asked why would Phil think to do such a thing his response was, “Right now, people need a helping hand. I believe that when a group of people with a common goal bands together, things can change for the better. So these races…this effort… is my response.”
Last year, Phil completed the Wild West Relay solo with a goal to raise enough money to feed 5,000 people for a year or 15,000 meals. His team, Team Wounded Bear, raised more than $6,300 for the Food Bank for Larimer County.
In 2012, Phil decided to not only double his running commitment, but he also decided to double his fundraising commitment. Phil’s team is looking to raise $15,000 with 100 percent of the proceeds going to support the Food Bank for Larimer County. This goal would provide enough food for 60,000 meals in Larimer County. So far, Phil has raised just over $8,000 of his goal.
To support Phil during his EPIC Relay or Wild West Relay, donate online at www.foodbanklarimer.org and designate the donation as a tribute gift in honor of the Team Wounded Bear (Phil Purdy).
“Phil’s determination and dedication to our cause is phenomenal. We believe one person can make a real difference in the lives of others, and Phil is one of those extraordinary people doing just that,” said Amy Pezzani, Executive Director. “We couldn’t be more thankful for his significant action to end hunger at home.”
In Larimer County, the need has steadily increased significantly over the last six years. The FBLC is now serving 13,000 residents in its Food Share pantry each month while 900 meals are distributed during each summer day to children in Kids Cafe. Over 80 partner agencies shop at the Food Bank for food for their clientele.
“Right now, people need a helping hand. If I want to call myself a contributing member of society and a Christian, then I must respond. I cannot stand by in our current social, cultural, and economic situation and do nothing. This is my response,” said Purdy.
To date, Purdy has raised over $8,000- an equivalent of 32,000 meals – to benefit the FBLC and continues to accept donations in support of his race. One dollar provides enough food for four meals in Larimer County.
For more information about Purdy and the race, visit http://www.teamwoundedbear.com. For more information about the Food Bank and how you can get involved, please visit www.foodbanklarimer.org.