November 07, 2008
Jones to raise money by running
At 7 a.m. on Nov. 23, Jones will begin his 26.2 mile run in the 15th Annual Philadelphia Marathon.
The marathon course winds through Philadelphia, passing such sites as Independence Hall, the Betsy Ross House and the Liberty Bell, according to philadelphiamarathon.com, the marathon's official Web site.
Jones said he and members of his fraternity, Phi Mu Delta, have sent hundreds of letters to Susquehanna's faculty and staff, urging them to sponsor Jones for the race or make donations.
The proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society at the end of the semester.
"The marathon is a catalyst, a reason for people to donate. Sometimes, people just need a reason," Jones said.
"I just think this is such a good cause. This isn't about me; it's about all of the people we're helping. That's why we are calling it 'Marathon for the Mighty.' It points out the true cause of the race," Jones added.
While Jones said he has personal reasons for deciding to raise money for cancer and is using the marathon as the medium, he said he has always loved running.
"I love running. I've been running since eighth grade just for fun. Around the time I was a junior in high school, I decided I wanted to run in a marathon but other things always got in the way. I played a lot of sports," Jones said.
Ironically, Jones said, one of the sports that got in the way of him running for pleasure was track and field.
Despite his other obligations though, Jones said he has never stopped running, even with his hectic college schedule.
Although he has wanted to participate in a marathon for some time, Jones said he began to seriously think about and plan for it over the summer. Despite a shoulder surgery that has placed him two months behind training-wise, Jones said he knows he is prepared.
"I had a shoulder surgery so I've only had four months to train, which is two months less than the average marathon runner. However, I feel very prepared. Recently I did a 20-mile run," he said.
Jones trains six days a week. Monday through Friday he runs for about one hour, or a five to eight mile course, in the gym. Usually, he said, he also does a long run on Friday or Saturday.
"A long run for me is 14 to 15 miles. My best time for a 20-mile run is three hours, five minutes," Jones said.
Jones said he has also received a lot of support from his fraternity members and other student organizations around campus.
He added that sophomore Zach Soulliard has been instrumental in supporting him and spreading the word about the marathon.
Soulliard said Jones is very dedicated to both the cause and the marathon itself.
"Mike told me around July [that he wanted to do this]. Originally I was reluctant, but when I saw him this semester I knew he was going to do it. He's really dedicated and has a lot of passion," Soulliard said.
Soulliard said that some of the other fraternity members will be traveling home with Jones the weekend of the marathon to provide support and cheer him on.
Senior Tim Allison, another member of Phi Mu Delta, said that Jones' goal is to raise $100,000 before the race. According to Soulliard, Jones has raised about $300 thus far.
In order to handle the donations, they have opened a university account in which to store the money they receive.
Soulliard said that checks can be addressed to Susquehanna University, with the memo line reading Phi Mu Delta.
"People should support this because Mike isn't doing it for himself or for the fraternity, but in support of a family, of which he lost a very good friend. He is dedicating time to helping them and the overall goal is to support cancer awareness," Allison said.
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