by Sunny Layne
(KWWL) -- For some people, running a marathon is on their life's "To Do" list.
After 44 marathons, one eastern Iowa man has decided to run longer than he ever has, hoping to save others from the same disease that claimed his father's life.
Meet Dave Martin, someone you should know.
Dave Martin is a running man. At age 54, this retired elementary teacher has run 44 marathons.
"I thought he was crazy," his daughter Samantha said.
Last year as part of University of Northern Iowa's Relay for Life, which raises money for cancer support and research, Martin wanted to set a personal record.
"Last year he ran 50 miles in the Dome and wanted to step it up, so here he is," Samantha Martin said.
"Last year was an amazing experience," Dave Martin said. "Although running 50 miles isn't what a lot of people would call awesome."
He's right. But apparently 50 miles in the UNI Dome wasn't enough. The cause of cancer research propels him forward.
"Cancer affects everyone. Therefore it's everyone's responsibility," he said.
The cause hits especially close for Martin. Thirty years ago, his father died of cancer. Couple the number 30 with Relay for Life's 25th Anniversary this year, and you get the number 55... 55 miles.
"The idea is the more unique it is, the more attention you'd get from people," Martin said.
So this father of two set out to run 55 miles, the equivalent of more than two marathons, all in one day.
"I hope to get them to realize if someone's willing to spend the whole day running on the trail, maybe they should see if they can help out some way too," he said.
Of course nothing ever goes quite as planned, starting from Center Point, heading to the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls, Martin caught some long detours along the way.
But he made it. Not 55, but 60 miles later.
"It's by far the hardest thing I've ever done," he said.
This Cedar Rapids native hopes his 60 mile run for a cure inspires awareness and donations.
"Yeah, my body's going to be crying at me all weekend," Martin said, "but when I get up Monday morning, I don't have cancer like all those people fighting cancer do."
He reminded the group that although not everyone can run 60 miles, everyone can do something.
"You can make a difference if you choose to," he said.
So far Dave Martin has raised more than $2,000 dollars, and he's still going strong. He is the chair of Linn County's Relay for Life June 12th and 13th, which coincidentally marks the same weekend his father died of cancer 30 years ago.
To learn more about preventing cancer or the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, click here.
by Sunny Layne