Keep Running Fatkids

A group of 27 My Fitness Pal runners around the world ran a 24-hour tribute relay “Run For Dennis”.

Dennis Ley (aka @KeepRunningFatboy) had run marathons in over half the US states, and his goal was to do them all. He chose his username from an “insult” a passer-by called him, and he turned it around to boost his determination.

He had been posting in the MFP Monthly Running Challenge threads often, every month since December 2016.

In January 2018 Dennis wrote a post on his profile about being kind to Tomorrow You. He wrote about how doing things like eating and drinking sensibly and looking after yourself are not punishments, but a lovely thing to do for the person you will wake up as. The person in the morning is the same person that has to deal with your behaviour the day or night before.

This thought process, together with friends doing Dry January, inspired me to try not drinking on February 1. I haven’t had a drink since. Dennis’s thoughts inspired many others in the Less Alcohol Challenge to moderate or quit their drinking.

In the MFP Monthly Running Challenge threads, Dennis’s wit, wisdom, and running achievements were very inspiring.

In late August Dennis passed away suddenly. This resulted in a flood of tributes and tribute runs in his memory, including Garygse running a marathon distance on his own in Texas the morning after we heard the news. Through our shock and sadness, we kept on running, inspired by Dennis, then the idea of a 24 hour relay tribute emerged. With Elise4270 help co-ordinating, we planned the relay.

On October 14 I started the relay off, doing the Melbourne Marathon, my third marathon, and my toughest due to the warm, sunny conditions. I started counting calories on MFP in April 2015, started running September 2015, and lost 80 lbs / 35 kg and reached goal weight by April 2016.

When I started running, I started posting in the MFP Monthly Running Challenge threads in the Challenges forum in MFP Community.

I got to know many of these lovely, informative, inspiring, supportive, and fun people in the threads, including KeepRunningFatboy. I’d made friends with him on Facebook which was how I heard of his passing.

Dennis liked a Seinfeld clip about Tomorrow Guy who “always screws Evening Guy”. Time and time zones certainly screwed with us on the relay. Juliet3455’s half marathon ended up being the day before we started the relay, and shanaber also ran early due to time zone calculation difficulties. But we got there in the end! I’m including juliet3455 and shanaber because I like exceptions to the rule, and RunsonEspresso and marisap2010 ran at some point during the time period so let’s agree cancels out the “missing” hours.

We started Australian Eastern Daylight Savings time 7 am on Sunday 14 October 2018 (20:00 GMT / 13:00 Los Angeles time on 13 October 2018).

The list of participants who ran in tribute:

GMT – Hour – Runner

2000 0 (2001-2100 GMT) – @Orphia 42.2 km

2100 1 – Orphia

2130 1.5 – Orphia

2200 2 – Orphia

2230 2.5 – Orphia

2300 3 – Orphia

2330 3.5 – Orphia

2400 4 – Orphia

0030 4.5 – Orphia

0100 5 – Orphia, @garygse

0130 5.5 – garygse

0200 6 – @bubblegum2fitness 2.5 miles

0230 6.5 – @HonuNui 7.2 miles

0300 7 – HonuNui

0330 7.5 – HonuNui

0400 8 – HonuNui

0430 8.5 – HonuNui

0500 9 – @juliet3455 21.2 km

0530 9.5 – juliet3455, @shanaber

0600 10 – juliet3455, @RunsonEspresso

0630 10.5 – juliet3455, @marisap2010

0700 11 – juliet3455

0730 11.5 – juliet3455

0800 12 – @_nikkiwolf_ 16.47 km

0830 12.5 – _nikkiwolf_

0900 13 – _nikkiwolf_

0930 13.5 – _nikkiwolf

1000 14 – @workaholic_nurse 5.57 miles

1030 14.5 – workaholic_nurse

1100 15 – @girlinahat 5.5 miles, workaholic_nurse

1130 15.5 – girlinahat, @Teresa502 5.55 miles

1200 16 – girlinahat, @Scott6255, @Tramboman 10.5 km, Teresa502

1230 16.5 – girlinahat, Scott6255, Tramboman

1300 17 – Scott6255, @kevaasen, Tramboman

1330 17.5 – @Elise4270, @kgirlhart , Scott6255, kevaasen

1400 18 – Elise4270, kgirlhart

1430 18.5 – Elise4270

1500 19 – @OSUbuckeye906

1530 19.5 – OSUbuckeye906

1600 20 – @RunRachelleRun 1.94 miles

1630 20.5 – @Marissaxzxzxz 5.05 miles (4-5 pm GMT), kevaasen

1700 21 – Marissaxzxzxz

1730 21.5 – @Avidkeo 3 km

1800 22 – Avidkeo, @rusgolden

1830 22.5 – rusgolden, @MobyCarp 8 miles

1900 23 – @bubblegum2fitness 3 miles, @Butterchop 6.2 miles, MobyCarp

1930 23.5 – bubblegum2fitness, Butterchop, @ctlaws44, MobyCarp

2000 24 – @biketheworld, ctlaws44

2030 24.5 – biketheworld

2100 25 – @MegaMooseEsq 10.4 miles, @sarahthes

2130 25.5 – MegaMooseEsq, sarahthes, @katharmonic 2.8 miles

2200 26 – MegaMooseEsq, katharmonic

2230 26.5 – MegaMooseEsq

We plan to keep running and add US marathons to Dennis’s tally to continue the memory of his goal. The first one is Scott6255 doing Houston Texas January 20 2019, then Garygse doing Phoenix Arizona February 9 2019, followed by MobyCarp doing his fourth Boston marathon in April.

I’m not religious, but I feel a part of something bigger after this. Dennis had big goals. Thank you, Dennis.

One thought

  1. This is simply amazing. Dennis had a love for the Lord that he shared. What you all are doing is really showing love to a man who loved others unconditionally!! It was my privilege to call him a friend. 💙

    Liked by 1 person

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