In support of Friends of Karen, a Port Jefferson-based organization that helps children in the tri-state area diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses, two men will try to run a combined 125 miles on treadmills at Energy Fitness in St. James.
On Dec. 15, from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., longtime members of Energy Fitness Dan Turturro, of St. James, and Byron Lane, of Stony Brook, will be attempting the mega-marathon run.
Lane started running 37 years ago and is a decorated ultrarunner having won 47 ultramarathon races of 50 km or longer, is a three-time Age Group National Champion and was the National Champion in the 24-hour run in 2008.
This will be Turturro's longhest run ever attempted. He began running distances greater than the traditional marathon this past year and so far has completed a 31-mile and a 50-mile race.
To raise funds for the organization, Energy will be accepting donations up to the day of the event. There will also be a "Guess the Miles" game for locals to participate with a $5 donation.
"The certainty is that they're running from 5 [a.m.] 5 [p.m.], the uncertainty is the total distance," said Michael Fox, one of four Energy Fitness owners. "They're expecting somewhere in the vicinity of 125 [miles] ... they're going to sell boxes for $5 where people can guess the mileage."
Prizes will be awarded to winners consisting of products and services from local businesses, including Energy.
Fox said locals are more than welcome to watch as the gym will be offering free smoothie samples during the event as well as food from Moe's in Smithtown, who will be offering food samples towards the latter part of the event.
"Think of the way your life is going right now," said Lane in a statement released by Friends of Karen announcing the event. "Pretend that tomorrow, you found out that your 5 or 10 or 15 year old child was diagnosed with some terrible life-threatening disease. Your life would change drastically and forever."
He said that Friends of Karen helps families so they "don’t have to worry about the Rat Race—all of the little things that can drain precious time and energy—so they can focus solely on their child and their family."
"Running on treadmills symbolizes their race to try to get everything done all at once," he said. "During our fundraiser, we’ll do all the running around for you, just like Friends of Karen does for their sponsored families."