Run­ner to aid Zach­ing Against Cancer group

El­li­cott City man to run 210 miles

Baltimore Sun - - NEWS - By An­drew Michaels For more in­for­ma­tion or to do­nate to Zach­ing Across the Moun­tains, go to

Run­ning for cancer aware­ness plays a big role in the Zach­ing Against Cancer Foun­da­tion, but on Sun­day, 49-year-old Rus­sell “Rusty” All­wein started tak­ing his ef­forts to a whole other al­ti­tude as he be­gan a seven-day 210-mile moun­tain run from Morgantown, W.Va., to Col­lege Park.

The El­li­cott City res­i­dent’s trek be­gan at his alma mater, West Vir­ginia Uni­ver­sity, at the Moun­taineer Field at Mi­lan Puskar Sta­dium, and will con­clude a week later at Mary­land Sta­dium at Col­lege Park.

Zach­ing Against Cancer con­tin­ues the work of 18-year-old Zachary Led­erer, a stu­dent at Col­lege Park who was di­ag­nosed with brain cancer and shared his in­ter­est in rais­ing money and sup­port for cancer pa­tients. Led­erer was well known on so­cial me­dia for his strong­man pose cap­tured in a vi­ral photo fol­low­ing surgery in Jan­uary 2012.

All­wein said he had heard of Led­erer’s ef­forts be­fore his death in March 2014 and soon be­gan work­ing with the teen’s par­ents, John and Chris­tine Led­erer, who con­tinue run­ning the foun­da­tion.

“We started work­ing on a 5K in 2014 that ben­e­fited the foun­da­tion, which was shortly af­ter Zach passed away,” All­wein said. “Just get­ting to know them had a lot to do with choos­ing the Zach­ing Against Cancer Foun­da­tion. One of the big things I see is some of the out­reach they do for cancer pa­tients and the ways they help peo­ple.”

All­wein vol­un­teers with the foun­da­tion as its race di­rec­tor.

All­wein said he based the Zach­ing Across the Moun­tains run on a fundrais­ing re­lay he had done at West Vir­ginia Uni­ver­sity with his fra­ter­nity. His moun­tain run raises funds for the foun­da­tion through do­na­tions of $25 per mile, each mile ded­i­cated in mem­ory or in honor of cancer pa­tients and sur­vivors. Al­though it has just started, the run has al­ready ex­ceeded its $5,000 goal, rais­ing a to­tal of $5,445 and count­ing.

A vol­un­teer crew fol­lows All­wein in a recre­ational ve­hi­cle through­out his jour­ney, he said, and he’s aware of some ob­sta­cles he may face along the road.

“The first [chal­lenge] will be the first day end­ing with four miles of se­ri­ous el­e­va­tion,” All­wein said about the 1,300-foot as­cen­sion be­tween miles 26 and 30. “Then, what I’ve no­ticed in train­ing is how hun­gry I am the day af­ter a long run. So, the chal­lenge is go­ing to be eat­ing and rest­ing af­ter I fin­ish that day so I can get up and do it again the next day.”

John Led­erer has joined All­wein on the trip in the RV for the first few days and then will fin­ish the trip on the fi­nal day.

Sun­day af­ter­noon, Led­erer re­ported the run­ner had fin­ished 30.74 miles in about 10 hours.

“It was very treach­er­ous with a lot of el­e­va­tion gain and drop,” Led­erer said. “He ac­tu­ally wanted to go fur­ther to­day, but we kind of put the reins on him.”

All­wein mapped out camp­grounds and rest stops along his route.

“I fig­ure af­ter three or four days I’m prob­a­bly go­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence some se­ri­ous fa­tigue and I’ll have to in­cor­po­rate some hik­ing and power walk­ing,” he said be­fore leav­ing. “But I’ll do what­ever it takes.”

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