An ultra-marathon runner made the 80-mile journey from Anaheim to Santa Clarita on Friday in an effort to raise money in honor of a 12-year-old Boy Scout from Burbank who died of cancer.
Roy Wiegand’s son was in the same troop as Christopher Wilke, who lost his battle with bile duct cancer on March 20, according to a donation page for Friday’s event.
Wiegand was “blown away” by stories shared during Wilke’s rosary about the boy’s impact on the community. “It really spoke to me,” he stated on a Facebook page.
Wiegand has done challenge runs for five years, previously to raising $12,000 for an organization that built water wells in developing countries.
Friday’s 83-mile run benefited the Michael Hoefflin Foundation for Children’s Cancer, a public nonprofit that provided emotional and financial support to children and their families.
Wilke’s baseball number was 48, and Wiegand hoped to raise $48,000.
After arriving in Santa Clarita, the ultramarathoner presented Wilke's family with a baseball signed the boy's favorite major leaguer — Angels outfielder Mike Trout.
“I will raise as much as I can,” Wiegand stated on the Facebook page. “I feel like I am the lucky one. This is an amazing opportunity.”
During the run, Wiegand pushed a stroller that could hold up to 100 pounds. He gave children rides along the way.
The run began at Angel Stadium in Anaheim and ended shortly before 8 p.m. at the Michael Hoefflin Foundation’s Santa Clarita location.
Afterward, Wiegand said that he almost did not complete the trek, but was able to do so thanks to the support of good friends — and a tremendous amount of water.