With thousands of steps, hundreds of miles, and one entire state behind him, Mission Hills attorney Steve Gorny had just one thing on his mind the moment he ended his epic five-day run Sunday: his dad.
“It was…It was just a wonderful feeling,” Gorny said Monday, fighting back emotions. “I had my daughter there with me, running that last mile together. And I just kept thinking about my dad. I was proud I was able to do it for him.”
Gorny’s father’s battle with Parkinson’s disease is what spurred him to take on the challenge of running all the way across Kansas from the Oklahoma to the Nebraska border. Through sponsorships, Gorny raised $33,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research — and there’s likely more on the way.
“I have pledges for a couple thousand more,” he said. “But I think they wanted to see if I’d actually be able to make it before they wrote me a check.”
Sunday’s 28-mile run — considerably shorter than the 50-plus miles he’d logged each of the previous four days (but, still, longer than a freaking marathon…) — was an incredible physical challenge. Day after day of ultra-high-mile running without any real recovery time had left Gorny’s feet in bad shape, with six significant blisters on his left foot and three on his right.
“They looked like hamburger,” he said. “But mentally, it was the best day of all. I knew there was an end to it. I had my wife drive up ahead to the finish line and call back to describe it to me so I had an image in my head. It was just about trying to struggle through with my feet.”