The plan sounded ambitious—run the Chicago Marathon, then run to New York City and run the New York City Marathon. It was a cross-country run totaling 850 miles with a hard deadline.
Patrick Sweeney and “Barefoot” Alex Ramsey went for it. And they did it.
The two had 21 days to get from Chicago to New York City, running a marathon at both ends. That’s more than 40 miles of running a day.
Not only did the two get to the start line of the New York City Marathon on time, they then went out and ran solid races to wrap up their challenge. Sweeney finished the New York City Marathon in 2:57:05 running in sandals, while Ramsey finished in 3:10:02, running barefoot.
Sweeney and Ramsey did the run as a U.S. leg of the Champions Walk for Peace, which was set up to bring awareness to ethnic violence in Kenya’s North Rift Valley. The day after the New York City Marathon, Ramsey and Sweeney symbolically passed the Walk for Peace torch to elite marathoner Wilson Kipsang, one of the co-founders of the Champions Walk for Peace, at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan.
They are still accepting donations at W4P.org.
Sweeney and Ramsey certainly had the resume to take on such a challenge. Sweeney is a 2:37 marathoner who says he runs about 20 ultramarathons a year on average. Ramsey, meanwhile, has qualified for the Boston Marathon running barefoot, and has run the Leadville Trail 100 among other high-profile ultras.