UWF cross country coach Caleb Carmichael
Inspired by an ultrarunner in Palm Bay, Florida, who ran 100 miles in one day to raise money for COVID-19 relief efforts, University of West Florida cross country coach Caleb Carmichael is running seven marathons in seven days to raise money to fight local hunger.
His efforts will benefits Argo Pantry, which provides food to UWF students in need of assistance, and Feeding the Gulf Coast, a food bank that serves 24 counties throughout the Florida panhandle, South Alabama and South Mississippi.
“As a community we’re going to have a lot of people lose jobs and not be able to feed their kids, and we need to do something about it,” said Carmichael, who is in his seventh year as the UWF men’s and women’s cross country head coach and will complete his fundraiser on Sunday, April 12. “It needed to be something crazy enough for people to take notice. Doing seven in a row is a monumental task.”
Since the spread of COVID-19, Feeding the Gulf Coast reports over a 500 percent increase in people seeking food assistance. From April 1-7, the organization distributed over 100,000 pounds of food during its mobile pantry distributions and distributed 4,000 meals and 4,000 snacks to children in the community. So Carmichael set up a crowdfunding page through Feeding the Gulf Coast.
Argo Pantry asks that donations be made through its wish list on Amazon or by visiting the student support webpage and selecting Argo Pantry as the designation. For more information visit: http://www.uwf.edu/argopantry
Running seven marathons in seven days—a total of about 186.2 miles—marks a first for Carmichael.
“It’s been hard no doubt about it, but I’m just inspired to do something for somebody else,” said Carmichael, after completing his fourth consecutive marathon on Thursday, April 9. “Each day I start off very sore, very tired and kind of work through it. Halfway in I feel better and then toward the end I get tired and worn out. I spend most of the day then resting and eating and getting hydrated so that I’m ready for the next day.”