Even to some of the most seasoned distance runners, what Spc. Mark Lopez is trying to accomplish is seemingly impossible. The Maryland native is attempting to run 185 miles through the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park to raise money for injured soldiers, the Frederick News Post reports.
The 27-year-old is running in support of 185 Heroes, an organization dedicated to raising awareness and funds for America's service members, and has made the 185-mile journey an annual event. In this case, the money raised goes to an organization called Operation Second Chance, which is targeted toward serving injured, wounded or ill veterans.
The impressive distance required a substantial amount of planning and training. Lopez hopes to complete the journey at a 10-minute mile pace and said he expects to take a one hour break every nine miles. Though it's certainly a challenge, Lopez says it's nothing compared to the obstacles wounded warriors face.
"To be honest, that's the only thing that's been keeping me going," Lopez told the newspaper. "I had to remind myself why I'm doing this."
Lopez is not the only one making a lengthy journey to support the troops this summer. Around 60 veterans have been making a cross country trip by bicycle – known as the Long Road Home – meant to raise money for Operation First Response.