TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Five days after leaving Huntington Beach, Calif., 21-year-old ultramarathoner Patrick McGlade made a pit stop in the home of Combat Center
officers Jan. 6-7 during his run across America to promote awareness and raise money for childhood rheumatoid arthritis.
Col. Bill Mullen, the commanding officer of the Marine Corps Tactics and Operations Group here, hosted McGlade during his time in Twentynine Palms.
Mullen said he heard about McGlade’s run through one of his sergeants major and wanted to help, so he contacted McGlade’s father Desmond, a retired Marine, and offered a warm bed to the runner.
“For a man his age to have the ‘stick-to-it-ness’ to run across America is above the norm,” Mullen said. “Once I heard what he was doing and why he was doing it, I volunteered to take him in. I admire what he’s doing.”
McGlade was also hosted by Lt. Col. Steven Beck, the operations officer for MCTOG, in Joshua Tree, Calif., Jan. 6 before he ran through Twentynine Palms, where Mullen picked him up eight miles past the town.
McGlade said he will spend four months running an average of a marathon a day, six days a week pushing a baby jogger loaded with clothes, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, water, a tent and a sleeping bag.
His run will take him over 2,400 miles and he will run until he reaches Tybee Island, Ga., said Desmond in a Dec. 30 press release.
McGlade was slated to run past the intersection of Adobe Road and Highway 62 at 11:30 a.m. Mullen was waiting at the intersection to introduce himself. McGlade was ahead of schedule, however, and made a stop at a local drive-through restaurant. He approached Mullen afterwards sporting a bright yellow shirt, a baseball cap backwards, large sunglasses and a smile on his face.
“I like running – actually, I really like running,” said the Frederickson, Va., native. “Once I heard about childhood arthritis, I wanted to do something to help – something more than just sending out flyers or pamphlets to people.
“I love the feeling of running and these kids may never get the opportunity,” he said. ”I want to do my part to help future generations.”
His goal is to raise $50,000 for the Arthritis Foundation by the end of the run, said Desmond.
McGlade trained a long time for this run, spending extra time in the gym, running back-to-back ultramarathons during weekends and running approximately 100 miles a week.
“This run has been awesome so far, I’ve met so many new people, gotten donations, and people seem to be really supportive,” he said.
He said the kind of support he has received from families and people like Mullen has helped to keep him motivated on his run.
“If you had asked me two days ago, I would have told you I didn’t think I could make it,” said a confident McGlade. “Now, I have no doubt I’ll make it, I’ve got my head right and I feel good about this run.”
For updates and more information about McGlade’s run please visit the Web site, http://way.to/patricksrun4arthritis.