Everyday Heroes

Man Runs 220 Miles To See His Grandmother And Raises Over $20K Along The Way

He wanted to raise awareness for the isolated seniors and nursing home staff who have been working on the front lines of the pandemic.

I've heard of half marathons and regular marathons – but, an ultramarathon? Sounds like something Superman would try.

Turns out, an ultramarathon consists of any foot race that's longer in distance than the standard marathon length of 26 miles. The most common distance for an ultramarathon is 50 miles, but there's no set number for how long one can be.

A man from Washington D.C. recently made it his mission to complete seven ultramarathons in seven days – all to support seniors and healthcare workers who have been putting their own lives on the line during the pandemic.

Corey Cappelloni ran an epic 220 miles to see his grandmother who is recovering from the coronavirus in a nursing home in Scranton, PA. Allied Services/Facebook

Corey Cappelloni, 45, who's originally from Scranton, PA, was inspired to make the epic journey when his grandmother Ruth (who he calls 'Nana') tested positive for the coronavirus last month.

"That was heartbreaking and scary, but I never lost faith, I never stopped believing that she would recover," Cappelloni told Local 21 news.

Cappelloni said his 98-year-old Nana has been like a second mom to him, and while he's been doing his best to keep her spirits up from afar by sending her books and having chats via FaceTime, he wanted to show his support in person.

Cappelloni says his Nana was like a second mom to him when he was growing up. Allied Services/Facebook

The run covered 220 miles, which is the distance from Cappelloni's home in D.C. to the Allied Services Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center in Scranton, where his grandmother has been living for over a year.

Before he left, Cappelloni set up a website so that folks could follow along with his journey. The site also offered a way for others to make donations to Allied Services in support of their seniors and staff.

Staff from the nursing home stepped out to welcome Cappelloni as he finished the race in the facility's parking lot. Allied Services/Facebook

While parts of the race were a struggle for Cappelloni, who is an experienced marathon runner, he says the thought of seeing his Nana at the end helped him to keep going.

Cappelloni's "partner-in-adventure" Susan accompanied him for most of the journey and took photos to document the experience for Nana.

"I got a text saying that my grandmother fully recovered from the coronavirus, and then Susan said I just ran into a zone and took off and I had like my fastest seven miles of the whole day. I just had so much energy from the news," Cappelloni said.

Ruth (aka Nana) has been keeping up with her grandson's epic journey on social media. Allied Services/Facebook

On Friday, Cappelloni crossed the finish line at Nana's nursing home and the two got to have a socially distant reunion, with Cappelloni standing in the parking lot underneath Nana's fourth-floor bedroom window.

Cappelloni was able to visit with his grandmother from a safe distance when he reached her nursing home in Scranton. Allied Services/Facebook

"Having that moment with her was one of the best moments of my life by far, I mean just being able to see her, I'm sure it would have been great to be inside but the moment was powerful," Cappelloni said.

Check out the emotional reunion between Cappelloni and his Nana after he crossed the finish line...

Not only did Cappelloni accomplish his goal of running 226 miles to visit his grandmother, he was able to raise almost $25K for the Allied Services Foundation.

Job well done! We're sure that Cappelloni's Nana was beyond thrilled to see her grandson go to such great lengths (and miles!) to show how much he cares.

Cappelloni said the moment he crossed the finish line was the best moment of his life, aside from the day his daughter was born. ied Services/Facebook

How can you start something good?

Even though his race is over, you can still contribute to Corey Cappelloni's fundraiser for Allied Health Services. Click here to make a donation.

Also, be sure to show the seniors in your community that they're not forgotten. You can pick up the phone and give them a call, write letters or send flowers or gifts to a local nursing home. Now, more than ever, they need our support.

Let's #StartSomethingGood together!

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