PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon veteran is going the extra mile to raise awareness for veteran suicide.
Mike McCastle, a Navy veteran, is training for a seemingly impossible challenge: Running 20 miles a day for 100 straight days.
“I truly believe there are no limits to the human spirit. And I have a strong purpose. And I do believe I can do this,” said McCastle.
McCastle chose the distance, 20 miles, to draw attention to the fact the Department of Veterans Affairs estimates roughly 20 veterans commit suicide each day.
While the challenge of running close to a marathon every day might seem far-fetched, McCastle has experience performing improbable feats.
In 2014, while still in the Navy, McCastle set out to break the record for most pull-ups in a 24-hour period.
Though he fell 128 short of the official record, and tore several muscles in the process, McCastle raised $10,000 for wounded veterans.
Still, feeling unsatisfied with falling short, McCastle tried again once he healed, and set the record for most pull-ups carrying a 30-pound pack on his back.
Since then, McCastle has successfully flipped a 250 pound tire for 13 straight miles, climbed rope for a distance equal to the height of Mount Everest and pulled a truck across Death Valley, all to raise awareness for veterans’ issues and other charitable causes.
“Pain is a universal language. You know, we have the pain of heartbreak, the pain of regret. Being hurt. But there’s also a pain that we can grow through,” said McCastle.
McCastle will begin his latest challenge on April 11.
He is sponsored by the National Alliance to End Veteran Suicide and Operation Enduring Warrior.
McCastle has also set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the cause.