BENEFITING: CAMP SUNSHINE AT SEBAGO LAKE
EVENT DATE: Apr 17, 2016
ABOUT MIKE BROOKS 70TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
The first $7,000 contributed to this campaign will be matched dollar for dollar by Camp Sunshine's friends, and Mike Brooks supporters at the FINISH LINE YOUTH FOUNDATION!
Ledgendary Maine runner and Camp Sunshine supporter Mike Brooks prepares to celebrate his 70th birthday by completing 7 marathons, in 7 states, in 7 days! Funds raised by this amazing feat will support children with life-threatening illnesses and their families attend Camp Sunshine.
Mike will take on the challenge April 17 – 23, 2016 inching him ever closer to completing his 500th marathon. The "Riverboat Challenge" this spring will begin with a marathon in Louisiana, followed by one in Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri and will finish up in Illinois.
Mike Brooks History at Camp Sunshine
First impressions were easy … this guy is certifiably nuts!
Running on the Sun as we referred to the Badwater Ultramarathon was really one of the first opportunities that Mike had to share his story with the world, and people took notice. An Auburn, Maine firefighter for 33 years, Mikes transition from an overweight, two pack a day smoker, to a marathon man was an alluring story. Add to it that he was about to run 135 miles through Death Valley in the middle of July and he was the poster child for amazing!
Not only did he complete the ultramarathon but continued another 22 miles to the nearby summit of Mt. Whitney taking him from the lowest to the highest point in the contiguous United States.
Driven was the man who ran in a sauna to ensure success.
One year after completing Badwater, Mike Brooks was back at it, finishing a 24-hour race in Minneapolis, MN, and raising additional funds for Camp Sunshine.
Next, Mike would challenge himself by competing in the grueling Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence Six Day Race.
After raising over $20,000 in 2004, and another $5,000 in 2005, this should be a “walk in the park” Mike said, Corona Park in New York City, to be exact. On the morning of April 30th, 2006 Mike would begin the first of what he hoped would be 300 miles over six days. Quick math – that was six 50-mile days or two marathons a day for 6 straight days.
He discussed strategy briefly in a meeting prior to the run – it was simple. Mike said, “I will run until I can’t run anymore, then I will sleep, wake-up, and run until I can’t run anymore. If I can do that for six days we should be in good shape!”
Six days, 320 miles completed ... Mike returned in 2009 to complete and finish the Sri Chinmoy 10 Day Race at age 64 where he raised more than $10,000 for Camp Sunshine while completing 491 miles!
A Decade in Perspective
Here we are, so many years later, it’s almost crazy to think how many times we’ve given a tour of our campus, stopped in front of Mike’s framed Badwater jacket and belt buckle and said, “This gentleman here … this is Camp Sunshine’s own Forrest Gump”. If we’ve said it once, we must have said it a thousand times, and it couldn’t be more true.
Every time we think Mike is done, like a bearded Tom Hanks reaching a new coastline, he just turns around and starts running again.
Mike has been a blessing to Camp Sunshine, an inspiration to children, and a beacon of hope to families. Thanks for all the memories, and for being in it for the long run!