Running a marathon mission with a cause - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Running a marathon mission with a cause


Some people can only dream of finishing a marathon in their life, many others get sick at the thought of trying, but imagine wanting to run in 99 of them, across every county in Iowa.

On Saturday morning Daren Schumaker and Dennis Lee's mission was Black Hawk County. Schumaker and Lee started their journey in December of 2009.

"It was more or less one bad decision that led to another. We thought we would run from one town to another and thought why not run across the whole county," said Schumaker.

"We were basically just bored with what we were running. We ran the same routs every day and week so we decided to do Benton County the next day," said Lee.

The pair makes an effort almost every weekend to run across a county no matter the distance, but their goal is to always run at least 26.2 miles. Black Hawk County is nearly 27 miles from its western border to its eastern border.

"We have done a few 30 milers, but most of the counties near the river are long and hilly," said Lee.

For these two running a marathon in every county isn't just a personal goal, but also a goal to help others with their health.

"People are taking less and less care of themselves. We don't work as hard as we used to and people need to get out and walk and take care of themselves a little better," said Lee.

Lee and Schumaker are running for the American Heart Association, trying to raise at least $250 per county.

Schumaker lost his grandparents to heart disease, and Lee lost his parents too.

"My mother died of a stroke and my dad died of a heart attack."

Inspiring others with every step they take to live a healthy life.

"If you see two crazy guys wearing bright shirts, running in terrible weather in the wind and snow, sleet, rain then maybe we can motivate somebody else to say hey if they are doing something that crazy maybe I can get out and walk a few minutes a day," said Schumaker.

Lee says he also has to give credit to his wife, Kris who is their chauffeur. Not only will they be running nearly 2,800 miles when they are finished, but they will be driving thousands of miles as well.

The two have finished 27 out of the 99 counties. They hope to run 25 a year.

If you would like to track the pair's running or even donate to the American Heart Association the team's web site is


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