Veteran visits Albuquerque on journey to complete a month of marathons
November 01, 2017 05:28 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A U.S. Marines veteran from Virginia is in the middle of completing a major goal: Running 31 marathons in 31 days in 31 major cities.
On Wednesday, Rob Jones’ journey brought him to Albuquerque, where he ran his 21st consecutive marathon.
In 2010, Jones served in the Marines in Afghanistan when he stepped on a landmine. Both of his legs had to be amputated above the knee. Every year since then, Jones has come up with some sort of physical challenge to tackle.
Jones said he wants to show everyone, especially wounded veterans, that anything is possible.
"Sometimes guys come back and they struggle a little bit and they might think that they're broken now because they've been wounded. I'm trying to prove that they're not,” he said.
Jones has won a bronze medal in rowing in the Paralympics, biked across the country from Maine to California, and is now on his way to completing a whole month of 26.2-mile runs. With 20 marathons down and 11 to go, Jones shows no signs of fatigue.
“I have some soreness that you would expect, but it all kind of usually resets when I wake up in the morning," he said.
Jones has family in the Duke City, making it was the perfect stop between Phoenix and San Antonio.
"I just figured it would be a good city that would be receptive to my mission," he said.
That mission, in addition to raising awareness about veterans’ experiences, is to raise money for three charities that have helped him and other veterans – the Stephen Siller Tunnel2Towers Foundation, Semper Fi Fund and the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes.
Jones invites the public in each city to run with him, or even stop by to cheer him on. On Wednesday morning, several local runners and veterans showed up to run a few miles by his side, including Rio Rancho resident Gerry Smith, a U.S. Army retiree.
"Just to be there and actually be live and actually see this person in action, it just pumps me up," Smith said.
From Albuquerque, Jones and his crew will pack up their rented RV and head to San Antonio for marathon No. 22. They’ll wrap up in Washington, D.C. on Veteran’s Day.
To learn more about Jones’ journey and how you can support his mission, click here.
Updated: November 01, 2017 05:28 PM
Created: November 01, 2017 12:54 PM
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