CORAL SPRINGS, FL – Shortly after 4 a.m. on Sunday, a 65-year-old Coral Springs retiree finished running a fundraiser for a local food distribution initiative.

Thomas Dobbs had run during daytime and nighttime in parks and well-lit areas of Coral Springs since Friday morning -- for a total of 56 miles in 48 hours.

“I still have all my toenails,” the longtime city resident said, joking.

The former water treatment plant project director raised more than $3,600, as of Sunday morning, for Chabad of Coral Springs and the organization’s food distribution efforts that feed up to 5,000 people a week.

Dobbs’ run was inspired by the “David Goggins Challenge,” named after the war veteran and ultra-marathon runner, that requires running four miles every four hours for 48 hours. Dobbs ran a little extra. He ran 12 times during those two days.

A runner for years, he came up with the idea for the fundraiser after driving past Chabad of Coral Springs’ Wednesday food distributions that draw thousands of people from across the region.

He wanted to do his part in raising money to keep the operation going through the pandemic.

“Doing this run felt great, but the real heroes are the people at Chabad who put this on week after week,” he said. “I’m glad I could do something.”

Nechama “Natalie” Gutman, the organization’s social services director, and other volunteers cheered on Dobbs late Saturday night as he ran.

“Throughout this pandemic, we have seen terrible tragedies,” Gutman said. “We also have seen incredible beacons of light. Thomas is one of those rays of sunshine lighting up the world around him.”

Would he do it again? Possibly, said Dobbs, who planned to stretch and relax much of Sunday.

“Just not any time soon,” he said.

To support Dobbs’ run for Chabad, donate here.


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