Friday's thunderstorms did more than just cause tornado warnings around D.C. The 2 inches of rain dropped on the metro-area turned the already tough North Face Endurance Challenge into an arduous, muddy trek.
At 5 a.m. Saturday, Glen Echo brothers Joe and Andy Horton stood ready to run the 50 miles -- muddy trail or not. The two had pledged themselves to the race in an effort to establish a scholarship fund for underprivileged kids interested in playing youth sports with Koa Sports, an organization that uses former college and professional athletes to teach sports fundamentals to boys and girls.
Eleven hours and 55 minutes after starting, the brothers finished the endurance challenge side by side, and with a donation of $15,000 for Koa Sports.
"It was absolutely the best/worst day of my life," Joe said in an email to Patch. "Andy and I experienced several dark moments during the race and even now, two days later. Andy’s Achilles is making a noise when he flexes it that I’m not sure any human body part should make; and I feel like my body has been invaded by some type of jungle fever and then smacked by a runaway bus."
Four years ago, Joe Horton couldn’t run the length of his driveway in Atlanta, GA. Today, the 41-year-old has some serious bragging rights under his belt. Joe and Andy Horton submitted the following race stats to Patch, following Saturday's challenge:
- Finished 50.13 miles in 11 hours 55 minutes according to a Garmin GPS watch
- Average pace was 14:17 minutes per mile
- Elevation gain: 7,579 vertical feet
- 12,000 calories burned between the two runners
- 320 runners started the race, with 277 runners finishing in the allotted time of 13 hours.
- Joe finished 224th out of 277
- Andy finished 225th out of 277
What may be even more impressive is the list of food consumed during the race, which reads a bit like an excerpt from "The Very Hungry Caterpiller." Combined, Joe and Andy went through:
- 328 ounces of water
- 48 ounces of Swanson chicken broth consumed ("It sounds gross, but was the best thing I ever had," Joe said.)
- 22 ounces of Mountain Dew
- 22 ounces of NUUN Electrolyte Replacement Drink
- 15 plums
- 3 mini packs of Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 4 mini packs of salted pretzels
- 5 mini bags of Lays Potato Chips
- 4 peanut butter & jelly sandwiches
- 6 handfuls of Skittles and M& M’s
- 12 Advil (during the race)
- 6 pairs of socks
- 4 shirts
- 4 towels
Joe will meet with Koa later this week to discuss the break down of the scholarship money, he told Patch.
"This will put dozens of boys and girls, who otherwise would not be able to participate, into this great league, helping them build character, passion for sports and hopefully a lifelong habit of active living," he said. "I am truly impressed and humbled by everyone’s generosity."