Rob Jones is a double amputee veteran who is running 31 marathons in 31 days in 31 major cities. Each run is self-organized and, on Saturday, he ran through San Francisco.
The journey started in London, dipped into Canada, and made its way throughout The States before ending in Washington, DC. San Francisco marked number 17 and shortly after he finished it was off to Los Angeles for 18.
“I will wake up in a city, run a marathon, travel to the next city, and repeat until I am finished,” Jones wrote on his website.
The struggle of America’s veteran population is a major focal point for this endeavor. The increasing percentage of suicide motivates Jones to mobilize efforts that raise awareness to help “halt these losses.”
“I intend to show veterans through the amount of support that I personally receive throughout this challenge that America loves her veterans, and the American people love their veterans, and want to help and support them,” Jones wrote.
The goal is to raise $1 million for wounded veteran charities. Donations can be made through the Rob Jones Journey website.
Jones joined the Marine Corp during his junior year at Virginia Tech. During a 2010 deployment in Afghanistan, Jones was in charge of clearing an area that was suspected of having an improvised explosive device (IED). During this action Jones stepped on a land mine and sustained injuries that resulted in a double amputation from above the knee.
His desire to compete soared as he pushed through the rehabilitation process. He took to rowing, and made it to the 2012 Paralympics where his crew brought home a bronze metal.
“I am always seeking to improve myself both physically and mentally, and this is best achieved through struggle,” Jones wrote. “Such an undertaking will demand deeds of fortitude, endurance, and perseverance, both in the physical realm, and also in terms of the mind.”
And the rowing success only ignited a desire to continue to push his body physically. He Began a solo supported bike ride that started in Maine during October 2013 and ended in California the following April. He rode 5,180 miles.
“I hope that by setting an example, I will inspire others to follow in my footsteps, and make sacrifices of both time and effort toward a cause in which they believe,” Jones wrote.
You can follow Jones on his journey and look for ways to contribute here.