by Tianna G. Hansen
In an effort to raise money for the nonprofit Family Promise and its fight against homelessness, 26-year-old Brett Wiley, of Holland, challenged himself to run 26 miles over 26 hours, through rainy weather and the early hours of the morning.
He was inspired from other people he had seen doing the challenge, and wanted to see if he could run the 26 hours straight through.
“It’s one of those things that feels crazier afterwards, looking back,” said Brett. “Thinking ‘I actually did that’; it was a pretty surreal experience.”
What makes the experience more surreal is Brett completed this run throughout the weekend of April 25th, while his neighborhood and the state were under quarantine lockdown.
“It gave me a goal to hit, during this quarantine,” he said.
Brett started out running on Saturday, April 25th at 9:00am and finished around 10:00am the next day.
As Brett ran through the streets at 3:00 and 4:00am, he mentioned how eerily quiet it was, without any cars on the road.
It began to rain too, which Brett said made it all the more dreamlike.
He was alone with nobody else around, his headphones in and wearing reflective clothes.
Throughout the nonstop 26-mile run, Brett recorded his progress every hour so people could follow along real-time through his Facebook posts.
At a time when staying connected is paramount, Brett took this idea to another level, and engaged people to make donations to benefit Family Promise, a local area nonprofit working with families and the homeless in Bucks County.
“It’s important what they’re doing, especially now when even more people are at risk of losing their homes or homelessness,” Brett said.
The final donation total came to $1064.
Brett comes from a pretty extensive running background, beginning with cross- country in high school.
He was also part of a trail running group, the organizer of which also did a similar run before Brett with the same donation goal to Family Promise.
This 26-mile run has inspired Brett to keep challenging himself. “I want to do more charity runs and train to run all 26 miles at once,” said Brett. “I’d like to get to the point of running marathons.”
For more information on Family Promise, visit familypromise.org.
PHOTO CAP: Brett Wiley after his 26-mile run