RAG runners complete 260-mile trek in downtown Columbus, raise over $130K for House of Heroes

chwilliams@ledger-enquirer.comMay 25, 2014 

From left, Run Across Georgia Studs Russell Jones, John Neill, Ian Edwards, Joel Mattocks and Ashton Burton cross the finish line Sunday evening in the Run Across Georgia.

CHUCK WILLIAMS — chwilliams@ledger-enquirer.com

The finish line near the intersection of Broadway and 11th Street in downtown Columbus looked good to local runners who had spent much of their Memorial Day weekend running from Fort Stewart to Fort Benning.

Around 6 p.m. Sunday, Ian Edwards led a relay team of mostly Columbus State University students the final strides of a 260-mile journey.

"Everybody in our running community wants to do this," Edwards said. "It is the biggest thing we have got."

It is certainly the most difficult of the local runs.

Six of nine runners completed the cross-state run and 175 more competed on 20 relay teams in the Run Across Georgia to benefit House of Heroes, a nonprofit that assists military veterans and surviving spouses with their housing needs.

Columbus businessman John Teeples is the founder of the event and one of the runners who ran the entire 260 miles. Teeples finished third, five hours behind Dane Talbert, who did the run in about 79 hours.

It is the sixth year the event has been held and Teeples said that more than $130,000 will be raised for House of Heroes. The money is raised through donations and pledges to the runners. The final total will not be in until the middle of June, Teeples said.

"All of the money we have raised will go to House of Heroes," Teeples said.

The CSU team -- Run Across Georgia Studs -- started last and was among the first to finish. They did the run through south Georgia into Columbus in about 30 hours and 20 minutes. Each of the runners did about 30 miles.

"This is the hardest run I have ever done," said Edwards, who has now done it twice.

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