On April 24 at 7:00 a.m., Tyler Brown set off on Greenville's Swamp Rabbit Trail for a long, soggy run. After training for 13 weeks, he was determined to run, rain or shine. This one-man marathon was a special way for him to honor his family and fight back against Alzheimer's through the Alzheimer's Association event, The Longest Day.
"Alzheimer’s and Dementia hits really close for me. My mom is living with Dementia and my grandfather (mom’s dad) passed away from Alzheimer’s when I was young," Tyler said. "I’ve been wanting to do something to honor them, generate awareness, and generate funds. I wanted to do something that I felt like was significant and that would get someone’s attention which is why I chose to run a marathon."
You don't have to be a runner to know that 26.2 miles is a huge undertaking! Tyler had previously run a marathon in 2009, so he knew that this would take serious preparation.
"I trained for 13 weeks. Throughout those 13 weeks you get exhausted with the training program and make a lot sacrifices," Tyler said. "One thing that kept me motivated throughout the training program was getting emails every time someone donated to the Alzheimer’s Association. There were many days that I didn’t want to go for a run after a long day at work or needed to get up at 4 a.m. to go for an early run, but the donations from many people helped me stay focused and motivated me to press on."
Tyler's persistance definitely paid off. Through social media and the generosity of friends, Tyler exceeded his fundraising goal for The Longest Day
"I never imagined that we would raise $11,150 through one fundraiser," Tyler said. "God is great."
Tyler also had great support on the big day of his run. His wife and mother-in-law met him at checkpoints to provide hydration stops, and his dad rode his bike alongside Tyler on the second half of his run. And of course, his mom was there to give him a big hug after he crossed the finish line.
Here at the South Carolina Chapter, we're beyond impressed with Tyler's accomplishments and so grateful for his support! The Longest Day is an amazing opportunity for community members to take any hobby or activity they love and use it to raise funds and awareness for the Alzheimer's Association.
While Tyler ran in April, most participants in The Longest Day will hold their events on or around the summer solstice on June 21. There's still lots of time to get creative and get started! Learn more
about The Longest Day or register today at alz.org/tld
The Alzheimer's Association leads the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's and all other dementia.™ For more information, visit www.alz.org or call the 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.