Early one Sunday morning Joe Horton and his brother Andy woke up, got dressed and went outside for a nine-mile run. When that was finished, they headed over to Carderock to run another 24 miles in the Potomac River Run marathon. The day’s total was 33 miles.
Four years ago, Horton couldn’t run the length of his driveway in Atlanta, GA. Today, the Washington, D.C.- area transplant is training to complete the 50-mile Northface Endurance challenge in June. But his mission isn’t just bragging rights. The 41-year-old is attempting to raise $20,000 to establish a scholarship fund for underprivileged kids interested in playing youth sports with Koa Sports, an organization that uses former college and professional athletes to teach sports fundamentals to boys and girls.
The organization had been looking to create a scholarship program for underprivileged youth, but hadn’t found the energy or the means to do so until Horton came along, according to Koa co-founder Wayne Cohen. Horton has raised money for charity organizations through running in the past, and says he thought raising money for Koa would be a perfect opportunity to help a local organization. He chose a 50-mile race to grab people’s attention.
“We didn’t have anyone out there who was willing to step up and do what Joe is doing. We are truly grateful,” Cohen said. “Our goal was $5,000 but Joe has blown that out of the water.”
Horton says he grew up playing sports and after moving to Glen Echo three years ago, he and his wife searched for a sports outlet for their son, Jackson. When they found Koa, Horton says he quickly developed a friendship with the founders and an appreciation for the quality of the program