Boot Campaign Board Member and ultramarathoner, Mike Rouse, has completed his month-long running challenge of 31 miles for 31 consecutive days in May to honor the lives and legacies of 31 fallen American military heroes. At 68 years of age, he logged over 961 miles, 5,285 hours for 31 days straight!
But he didn’t do it alone! Thank you to the 97 individuals and 14 teams who participated across the country to run, walk, bike or swim throughout the month of May. We loved keeping up with everyone’s mile trackers on social media!
Mike’s initial 31-mile run on May 1 took place in Frisco, TX followed by runs in his hometown of Abilene, Houston, Austin, Boston, MA and San Diego, CA. His final run took place on Memorial Day at the Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado, CA.
“Concluding my final run on Memorial Day outside the Naval Amphibious Base was incredibly special for me,” said Mike Rouse. “Memorial Day is not a happy day. I want people to understand what this day represents. For the families of our fallen servicemen and women, every day is Memorial Day.”
Mike’s goal was to raise funds for Boot Campaign through mile pledges, donations and merchandise sales during the month of May. After the 31 days, donations made by participants and individuals amounted to $25,720 and a corporate partner contributed $25,000 – totaling $50,720. We are incredibly grateful as this donation will support veterans and their families involved in our comprehensive health and wellness program.
“The #31for31for31 challenge began initially with one man running to commemorate the lives and legacies of 30 American men and one service dog who sacrificed it all in the name of freedom,” said Boot Campaign CEO Shelly Kirkland. “This year, the May movement grew as part of Military Appreciation Month and culminated on Memorial Day with the remembrance of so many, killed in action around the world. But our work at Boot Campaign continues because though so many service members return home, without visible wounds, many still suffer from injuries that occurred on the battlefield. Just as we remember the warriors killed in action, we remember those who lost their war within.”
The local and national media were especially interested in following Mike’s story, resulting in multiple TV and print interviews to share more about his “why.” Click below to read or watch the coverage of Mike’s runs throughout the month of May.
- NBC 5 DALLAS FORT WORTH (aired on May 1) “Texas Man Running 31 Miles Every Day in May to Honor Military” Watch the full interview here.
- FRISCO ENTERPRISE NEWSPAPER (in print and online May 9) “Local man runs 31 miles a day for 31 days to honor military members” Read the full article here.
- KUSI NEWS GOOD MORNING SAN DIEGO (aired on May 31) “68-year-old, Mike Rouse ran 31 miles every day in May to honor the legacies of 31 fallen service members” Watch the full interview here.
- CBS 8 SAN DIEGO (aired on May 31) “This 68-year-old man ran 31 miles every day in May to honor Coronado-based Navy Seal killed in Afghanistan” Watch the full interview here.
- SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE NEWSPAPER (ran online May 31) “Column: An emotional ending to a Memorial Day tribute” Read the full article here.
- NBC 7 SAN DIEGO (aired on May 31) “Honoring America’s Fallen: Man Runs 31 Miles Every Day of May to Honor 31 Heroes” Watch the full interview here.
- CORONADO TIMES NEWSPAPER (ran online June 1) “68-Year Old Runs 31 Miles For 31 Days For Military Appreciation Month” Read the full article here.
- COFFEE OR DIE MAGAZINE (ran online June 1) “Texas Man Ran 31 Miles Every Day in May to Honor Extortion 17 Fallen” Read the full article here.
- RUNNER’S WORLD (ran online June 9) “How Mike Rouse Ran 31 Miles Every Day for 31 Days for Veterans” Read the full article here.