TUA SHINE // 27 Marathons x Timothy Gill Is Still Running Strong For Cancer

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27 Marathons & Timothy Gill Is Still Running Strong For Cancer Next Up: He'll Take On a Guinness World Record Challenge

By Tracey Longo


Some people walk the walk for charity. Timothy Gill runs the run….some 27 marathons and five half marathons to date to raise money for cancer. Now Tim, an Air Force policeman, will take on a slightly different challenge. On March 22, he’ll climb up and down 24 stories of stairs for six hours as part of the 2014 Outclimb Cancer Challenge to raise much needed money to fund cancer treatment research. “If I tire and can no longer walk up the stairs, I will crawl, but I will not stop,” says Tim, who raise money as part of the Huntman Hometown Heroes. To make a much-needed donation, click here: http://ogden.kintera.org/kiltedhero. “I pay all fees myself, so any money raised will go directly to the foundation,” says Tim, whose team has raised almost $16,000 to date.

 

Tim_Gill_MarathonTim wasn’t always a runner or frankly, even very fit, as he explains below in an essay he wrote recently for The Platform Magazine. In fact, he only took up running in 2007 after finding himself out of shape during a tour of Iraq. “I would run inside the perimeter of the base fence and if there wasn’t any incoming mortar fire, it was fine,” he only half jokes.

Tim’s biggest challenge is yet to come this September when he tries to break the Guinness World Record by running the fastest marathon ever recorded while wearing an elevation Training Mask. The mask is a new product that provides the pulmonary and oxygen resistance one would get while running high in the mountains. In addition to the mask, Tim will undoubtedly be wearing the mask he always dons when running. They don't call him "Kilt Dude" for nothing!

Here in an essay he wrote for The Platform Magazine (reprinted here with permission) Tim describes what inspires him to run so tirelessly for cancer and work with other charities:

"I believe that what defines me, and what lies at my core is my empathy and desire to share the gifts that I have been blessed with. Throughout my life, I have found inspiration from those people who gave of themselves not for recognition or feelings of guilty obligation, but to ease the suffering of others, or to brighten the day of the hopeless or despondent with no expectation of reward or return. I have traveled the word with the military, and have been stationed overseas for a total of 11 years. I have seen suffering and in- difference and I refused to let it desensitize me. If anything, it strengthened my resolve to help oth- ers. I had always wanted to do more, but I did not know where to start. What I feel to be my biggest accomplishment, started with a personal failure."

In 2007, during my deployment to Iraq, I had failed my annual physical fitness test, due to my weight and poor run time. I made no excuses

For my failure, and decided to make a healthy lifestyle change. I devoted every free moment to exercise and healthy eating, and in process, lost 40 pounds by the end of the deployment, and raised my score from a failing 74, to a passing 92. Upon returning stateside, I sought out local runs to motivate me to continue in my fitness quest.

I began by entering 5km races, and realized that each race benefitted charities. I also sought bigger personal challenges and decided to train for a marathon. In 2009 I successfully ran in my first marathon. I noticed many runners at the race were wearing Huntsman Hometown Heroes shirts and asked about their significance. The runners were running to raise money for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation which pioneers cancer treatment research.

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I completed another two marathons that year, and signed up with the Huntsman Hometown Heroes the following year. I lost family members and close friends to this terrible disease, and felt that this should be my cause, and perhaps the way that I could make the positive social impact that I had been searching for. I may look unusual when I run, but it is for a purpose. I run in a kilt, and in turn people sought me out to ask why I chose that attire, or even pose for photographs. After races, people would access my donation page and contribute to this amazing foundation. At one of my favorite local marathons (Layton Marathon) I decided to run the entire race wearing a heavy, horned, wooly buffalo hat. This was not in an attempt for personal recognition, but to feel terrible while I ran. It is a very hot race, and I wanted to feel miserable and keep moving forward, in tribute to people that I ran for. I was inspired by the people being treated for cancer that were feeling miserable but were still pushing onward to beat this terrible disease.

I have since completed 23 full marathons, and I have no intention of slowing down. I am now seeking new ways of helping others, and have begun networking with people coping with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), whether from combat, childhood trauma, domestic abuse or a myriad of other factors. I enjoy helping others on a personal level, and hope to be able to be the light in the darkness that they are seeking, and help them to the point where they can pay it forward and help others themselves. I believe that I have found my purpose in this life, which is what my earliest mentors tried to teach me by their personal examples. Give of yourself not for recognition or feelings of guilty obligation, but to ease the suffering of others, and brighten the day of the hopeless or despondent with no expectation of reward or return. Some of my biggest rewards have been nothing more than a simple smile, or warm hug. I don’t have a lot of money to give, but I can give of myself which makes me rich man indeed. – By Timothy Gill, reprinted with permission from The Platform Magazine.