Run for the Heroes 2014: 260 mile run - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Run for the Heroes 2014: 260 mile run concludes in Uptown Columbus

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A handful of long-distance runners began their 260 mile race across Georgia on Wednesday, May 21, and began to cross the finish line in Uptown Columbus on Saturday, May 24 to benefit House of Heroes.

"Run for the Heroes is an annual fundraiser that we have been doing for six years," says Susan Wood with House for Heroes. "Proceeds from this event benefit House for Heroes whose mission is to repair the homes of military veterans at no cost to them. Without the Run for Heroes event, we wouldn't be able to do our 40 to 45 houses a year that we usually do for our veterans, so this is a very important even."

John Teeples, the owner of Iron Bank Coffee, John Teeples Construction Company and the Big Dog Running company, started the Run for the Heroes marathon six years ago.

"I ran 260 miles by myself when I first started it," Teeples said. "I told House of Heroes that I was going to donate the funds I collected from running across Georgia. People were skeptical at first. However, We've been doing this for six years now. So far, we've raised over 500,000 dollars for House of Heroes."

House of Heroes help repair veterans' homes. The organization mainly helps with carpet work, paint job, replacing doors and windows, handicap fixtures, updating bathrooms as well.

"We hold this run during the week of the Memorial Day weekend," Teeples said. "What a perfect fit... Memorial Day weekend, House of Heroes, and we start at Fort Stewart."

For the past two years, the marathon has started at Fort Stewart, Ga. In the past, the marathon started in Columbus and ended at Savannah, Ga.

"We decided it makes more sense to have the finish line back home," Teeples said.

Dane Talbert, one of the nine individuals who began their 260 mile race, was the first runner to cross the finish line. He beat his own record from 2013. He arrived around 4 p.m. last year, and Talbert arrived before noon for this marathon.

"I wanted to help raise funds for House of Heroes," Talbert said. "This is my third year running with Run for the Heroes. You have to keep going. You have to stay positive when doing this race."

Teeples said he only slept three to four hours every day to run.

"On the first day, I started the race at 4 in the morning," Teeples said. "On my second day, I got up at 3 in the morning. On my third day, I got up at 2 in the morning."

Teeples and Talbert both said heat and humidity made the run difficult.

Nine runners began the race at Fort Steward on Wednesday, at 4 a.m. Since then, three of them have been injured, and six were expected to complete the race on Saturday. Relay teams started the marathon on Saturday, at 4 a.m. These group of runners are expected to cross the finish line located on the 1000 block of Broadway by 8 p.m. Sunday night.

So far, Run for the Heroes has raised about $130,000, and fundraising is still ongoing. The organization is hoping to make more than the amount the received in 2013, which was $160,000.

For more information on the race and how to contribute, click here to visit the Run for the Heroes website.

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