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Indy athletes to run 250 miles to raise $250,000 for Type 1 diabetes research

By Hanna Mordoh

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    INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (WISH) — Three Indianapolis athletic trainers are on a mission to run 250 miles and raise $250,000 for charity. The group is leaving from Monument Circle at 8 a.m. on Thursday and will journey to St. Louis, on foot.

George O’Dell and two fellow coaches from the Train Yard 317 gym plan to run to the St. Louis arch as the first challenge in an effort to raise funds for Type 1 diabetes research.

“I don’t think any of us are really runners per se. So, it is going to be a really cool challenge to just put ourselves in an uncomfortable position and hopefully, show people it is going to be hard. We assume we are going to crawl at some point. But we are excited about it,” said O’Dell.

O’Dell is an athlete and specializes in Ninja-type of working out. The group wanted a big challenge this year to raise money for a charity and motivate other people to do something outside their comfort zone.

A client of the coaches, Amy Sampen, has two sons who suffer from Type 1 diabetes and has been raising money with Let’s Strike Out Type 1 Diabetes. So, that is where the passion for this cause came from, for this series of challenges.

The small group plan to take three days for the run, but are packed and ready for the trip to take longer if needed. The trio said they will crawl if that’s what it takes to meet this goal.

“Have I run 250 miles? Not even close. When we hit mile 41 that will be the longest run I have ever done. But it is just one foot in front of the other. And it is just your mindset of hey, people with type 1 diabetes they don’t have a choice to struggle. We have this choice that we have made so I figure it is a way of saying looking you can do this – anybody,” said O’Dell.

This is just the first challenge to raise $250,000. The group plans to have more challenges in the future that other people can get involved in.

Additionally, O’Dell, in a conversation for the Fitting Indy podcast on the All Indiana Podcast Network, spoke in-depth about what motivates his athletic feats and how he engages the fitness community.

So far, the group has raised over $23,000 for the Dr. Denise Faustman & Faustman Lab that does research on Type 1 Diabetes. People interested in donating can give on this website and on this GoFundMe page.

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