Distance runner Corey Cappelloni ran seven ultramarathons in seven days for a very sweet reason. The 218-mile run from his home in D.C. ended in Scranton, Pa. where he finally got to visit his 98-year-old grandma Ruth Andres.
Cappelloni took the unthinkable run as an opportunity to fundraise for seniors who have been isolated due to the pandemic. Run for Ruth raised over $24,000 to provide smartphones, tablets and other coping essentials for isolated elders.
Cappelloni had already lost his great-uncle Charles Gloman to the virus, on May 11, when Andres was diagnosed with coronavirus in early June.
“She was no longer able to have family, visitors, friends visit her,” Cappelloni told the Associated Press. “And she became a little depressed, so I knew that I had to do something to try to uplift her spirits.”
When sending her snail mail wasn’t cutting it, Cappelloni’s girlfriend, Susan Kamenar, suggested he run to Andres. He had run an ultramarathon in Peru last December and was still in shape.
“I was like, ‘You know that’s 220 miles, that’s a long distance.’ The most I’ve ever done was a race through the Sahara desert, which was 156 miles,” Cappelloni told the Associated Press.
He decided to run the long distance with Kamenar trailing behind in an RV with supplies. Things were fine until day six. He felt he had hit a wall.
Then he got a text that his Nana Ruth had made a full recovery. He kept going. On day seven, Cappelloni arrived in Scranton, his home town, to cheers and balloons. Andres lives at Allied Services Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center where dozens of workers applauded Cappelloni as he crossed the finish line.
But he could still only see Andres through her fourth-floor window — no contact was allowed — a sign on it read, “I Love You Corey.”
If you enjoyed this story, you might want to read about this New Orleans man celebrate his homecoming after 82-days in the hospital with Covid-19.
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