Running for Food



About 9 months ago, Cory Scheer—a father of four—experienced a near-fatal bike accident while training for an ironman marathon. Coming out of that experience and reflecting on the help he received from so many, Cory decided to do something a bit crazy: Cory is running 12 marathons in 12 months as a way to raise funds for basic needs of others around the world. Cory’s food partner, for those in hunger, is World Vision. We caught up with Cory and asked if he would share a bit of his story. We thought it might be encouraging to 30 Hour Famine leaders and participants, as an example of someone using his passion to make a difference.

And this is cool: on Sunday, April 13, thousands of people around the world will be joining Cory in the Basic Needs Virtual 5K. If you’re a distance runner, you can sign up here, enlist supporters, choose one of five funding recipient organizations (hint: World Vision is one of the five!), and choose where you want to run. You’ll know you’re running at the same time as hundreds of others!

Q&A with Cory Scheer

A marathon every month! Tell us the truth: are you tired of running yet?

Every marathon is a new challenge and each race is very different. The training is very non-traditional since I am sometimes running 2 marathons within 8 days. There are certainly days that I am tired of running and the last 5 miles of each marathon is a significant test both physically and mentally. It is during those times I remind myself of how so many people around the world endure suffering constantly. It is then that my perspective completely changes on the short term challenges of a marathon.

It seems like everyone wants to start their own nonprofit these days. Why didn’t you go that route, and instead support existing organizations like World Vision?

There are so many great organizations that serve this world’s basic needs. It’s an honor to run for them and raise awareness about the many great things they are doing. I specifically chose World Vision for the basic need of food because of the amazing efforts that World Vision is committed to in order to alleviate hunger.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a young person who wants to make a difference?

My advice would be to find something that truly stirs your soul and look for creative ways to raise awareness and funds. There are many resources to help set up fundraising pages and build your own website. Social media is an incredible tool to promote your story and your cause. Also, reaching out to charitable organizations that align with your efforts may lead to some innovative and unique partnerships. A willingness to adapt your strategy for your cause is also important. The Basic Needs Marathon Challenge led to the Basic Needs Virtual 5k…which wasn’t part of the original plan. Thankfully, the Basic Needs Virtual 5K has resulted in hundreds of people committed to running a 5K in their own community during the month of April with 100% of the dollars donated going to charity.

Any plans after your 12th marathon?

Plans after the 12th marathon include SLEEP! Actually, my plan is to continue running marathons…but only to run 2 or 3 per year instead of 12. I am looking forward to running in marathons around the country as well running shorter distances with my kids.