When Rob Jones was tasked with searching for an IED on deployment in Taliban territory in Afghanistan, a land mine exploded and took away both of his legs.
His right leg was amputated above the knee. His left, at the knee.
The Marine was honorably discharged in December 2011. Less than six years later, on Monday, he’ll run his 12th marathon — along KC’s Riverfront Heritage Trail — in as many days. He plans to run in 31 marathons in the course of a single month — a marathon a day for 31 straight days, all to raise awareness and funds for other wounded veterans, first responders and their families.
“I intend to show my fellow veterans that they are not alone, and only need ask in order to receive all of the support that they need,” Jones wrote on his website.
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The marathons are being undertaken on his own, he writes on the website, and will not be part of an organized marathon unless his schedule allows. He will miss the Kansas City Marathon, run Saturday, by two days.
This isn’t Jones’ first foray into extreme sport for a cause. In 2013, he embarked on a 5,000-mile bike journey around America, raising $126,000 for charities benefiting wounded veterans along the way.
On Sunday, he’ll run in St. Louis, and after running in KC, he’ll immediately depart for Denver in an RV for a marathon there the next day.
“There are over 300,000,000 Americans, and if each one of us were to dedicate ourselves to a cause, many of our country’s problems, for example homelessness and starvation, would be improved to the point of elimination,” he writes.
Ahead of his St. Louis run, Jones told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that people must find ways to “use our own personal talents.”
“One of mine is to endure things that most people wouldn’t,” he said. “I think the Marines taught me that.”
His goal is to raise $1 million through his “Rob Jones Journey.”
To donate to the charities, visit Jones’ website.
Jones’ full schedule for his Monday run in KC is available on EventBrite. He encourages anyone interested to “come out and run, or simply be a part of the day.”