How do you train for the Badwater Ultramarathon -- a 135-mile running race in Death Valley -- when you live in the middle of Kansas? If you're Tony Clark, you build a heat box in your garage.
The newest video in DICK'S Sporting Goods' web series, true stories about runners and what they run for, tells the tale of Tony Clark, a Marine veteran who was one of the first soldiers to step foot in Afghanistan after Sept. 11. After his service, Tony began running, and after competing in ultramarathons for over three years, came to the realization that he could do more, and give back through his races.
"It dawned on me one day that I was being 100 percent, totally selfish. I needed to take the selfishness out of it and use the talent I was given in order to help others. ... If I can be a small part of being that voice, it's a win-win for me."
Training for Badwater presented a difference challenge -- how can you get your body prepared for running an ultramarathon in temperatures that reach 125-130 degrees? With a heat box.
"I just came up with this idea that I'd build an 8' x 8' heat box in my garage. I needed some more intense heat on my body -- I stuck the heat lamps tow or three feet above me ... It's a take-your-breath-away, nostril-burning, eyes-watering heat the whole time."
Clark now always runs his ultramarathons for a cause, each one for a different veteran fundraiser.
"I run for veterans ... I don't run for myself. I run for others."