BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Hundreds of men and women at Keesler Air Force base spent this Friday at the track. They were competing in a 14 hour relay race to raise money for Fisher House.
"This is our fifth annual Dragon Challenge, and we're all here with a mutual purpose; to raise money for the Keesler Fisher House," said Travis Smith, who helped organize the fund raiser.
Fisher House provides free meals and lodging to family members of a veteran or military person facing a medical crisis.
"The Fisher House is kind of a home away from home for our military members here that are getting medical surgery, any type of medical benefits. It's just a place where they can stay here for free, and it benefits the families," said Fisher House liaison Glenn Davis.
"I still have a long day ahead of me, so I've got to pace myself," said Guadalupe Galindo, who had logged 22 miles by late morning.
Galindo began running at age 19 when he weighed 316 pounds. He used the exercise to lose the weight and join the military.
Some 40 marathons later, he's still active.
"My goal is to do 62 miles today, but with the heat, we'll see how it goes. Minimum 50. Right now, I'm on pace for 62. I like running. I do a lot of runs for special causes like the Fisher House, today," said Galindo.
"We've got Team Bowen with 44 miles. Team Carpio also has 44," said the public address announcer.
"I enjoy seeing this many people get together and just complete a mutual goal. Everybody has the same interest, to raise money. To be out here and be true wing men, which is what we're supposed to be about," said Tech Sgt. Smith.
By midday, the runners had already raised more than $5,000 for Fisher House.