The spring and summer weekends in Wichita are filled with 5k charity races where racers can pay an entry fee, run for 3.1 miles, get a t-shirt and know that their entry fee supported a charitable cause.
Tony Brown plans to run for charity this weekend.
For 24 hours. And likely for more than 100 miles.
For the second time in a year, Brown, 57, will support the Girls on the Run organization by running for 24 hours continuously around the track at the Wichita Collegiate School. “Tony's 24 Hour Laps of Fun for Girls on the Run” starts at 6 p.m. Friday night and ends Saturday evening.
Girls on the Run is an international organization that encourages young girls to be happier, healthier and more confident through curriculum-based running programs. A local chapter of the organization will hold a 5K race in Wichita on May 12.
“By doing something like this, it attracts more attention,” Brown said. “It’s not something that you hear of everyday. It’s not a 5K or a 10K. It’s totally different.”
Brown is a veteran ultra-marathoner who has done a number of 100-mile races. He says the key to being able to run for so long, and for such a great distance, is a combination of training and mental fortitude.
“To me, it’s exciting. I start to get tired about one or two in the morning,” Brown said.
“But I pick back up around four in the morning. It’s more of a mental thing. If you can manage to stay awake that long, you’ll do great. Once you do a couple of them, it’s not as hard.”
The last time Brown did a 24-hour run for Girls on the Run, last summer, he ran for 102 miles. The competitor in him hopes to surpass that distance this weekend.
“Any time you get into accomplishing one distance, you want to see if you can go farther.,” he said.
The event will have a tent set up with raffle prizes that anyone can buy tickets for. There will be a hot dog feed three different times for $2.40 donation. Those times are Friday from 6-8 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m.
In addition, there will be wristbands for sale, or you can make a donation to Girls on the Run at the location. Anyone is welcome to join Tony on the track and run or walk for any amount of time.
Proceeds will go the Girls on the Run, Heart of Kansas chapter. You can also donate through the organizations website: https://www.raceplanner.com/fundraisers/campaign/Laps-of-Fun-for-Girls-on-the-Run
Brown is hoping to raise at least $6,000, which would allow up to 50 girls to participate in the program. He’s been involved with the program for several years and enjoys watching the participants accomplish new goals.
“I see what the girls go through and how much excitement it brings them,” Brown said. “It really lifts them up.”