Peter Makredes plans to spend 24 hours running the length of nearly four marathons over Memorial Day weekend, circling a park in southwest Las Vegas Valley.
He does not train for elite athletic competition and does not try to draw attention to himself. The 28-year-old is trying to run 100 miles to raise funds to reduce the number of veteran suicides.
âMileage is not really that important,â Makredes said Sunday afternoon, taking a break to change his socks and shoes after reaching 32 miles. “People wouldn’t care if I just ran a 5K.”
Starting at 8 a.m. Sunday at Exploration Peak Park, 9275 S. Buffalo Drive, Makredes was scheduled to operate until 8 a.m. Monday. He’s been promoting his run on social media for months, and a banner in the park encouraged people to donate to Mission 22, a nonprofit that supports veterans with mental illness and illness. works to prevent veteran suicide.
By 5 p.m. Makredes had raised $ 13,685 for the organization, the most he had raised since starting his fundraiser two years ago.
When he started in San Diego, he ran 80 miles along the California coast. Last year he ran 88 miles at another Las Vegas park, but this year he wanted to push himself even harder.
âThe most important number for me was the 24 hours,â he said, which represented Makredes âsacrificing just one day of my time a yearâ.
Makredes’ parents were seated on lawn chairs next to a cooler and containers labeled “Peter’s Food”. To run more than three marathons, Makredes said he needs to eat around 11,000 calories.
Sue and Ron Santrach, who flew to Las Vegas from Minnesota to support their son, said they plan to stay awake all night to help Makredes, passing him water and food while he ‘he did half-mile loops.
When asked why her son would choose to run 100 miles to raise funds, Sue Santrach laughed and said she asked the same question.
âHe said, ‘Well, this has to hurt,’â she said.
Makredes, a Summerlin resident, said he started training for his Memorial Day weekend fundraiser months ago. He also plays for the Las Vegas Irish Rugby Football Club and works as a survey pilot.
He is not a veteran, and other than two grandfathers who served, he does not have any veterans in his family. Some of his friends were in the military, but he never personally knew a veteran who committed suicide.
Instead, he hears the stories of others, including veterans who have stopped at the table next to his parents to speak.
âIt’s such a huge problem among the veteran community right now, and there’s not a lot of publicity,â he said, later adding, âI feel like I don’t. could do nothing in my life unless these veterans are served. “
According to the most recent data from the Department of Veterans Affairs, 6,139 veterans in the United States committed suicide in 2017. Of those deaths, 116 were in Nevada.
Dressed in his red work uniform and a pair of khakis, security guard Louis Amalaman ran a loop with Makredes during his Sunday afternoon break. The pair ran in the bright sun, passing families sitting in the grass and celebrating the long weekend.
Amalaman said his brother had served in the military for 12 years and recognized the serious problem Makredes was facing.
âIt’s not easy for someone to go to war and come back,â Amalaman said, wiping the sweat from his brow.
Although his rugby teammates were planning to come and support him on Sunday night, Makredes said that even if he had to run on his own, he had no doubts he would achieve his goal.
âI’m just trying to make the world a little better,â he said, preparing to run another lap.
This story has been updated to include the exact day Makredes was interviewed.