4x4x48+2 Endurance Challenge Athletes

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1 Weekend. 5 Runners. 50 Miles.

There’s no counting how many miles have been run or biked or how many gallons have been sweated to raise funds and awareness for God’s Love We Deliver. Between the Race to Deliver and the Ride for Love, we have some incredible athletes for supporters. The count went up last month, however, when Dixon McDonald led four individuals (teammates, friends, and a stranger-turned-friend!) in an Olympian commitment: a 4x4x48+2. For the uninitiated, that means running 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours (and they added 2 on the last run for a nice, round 50!). If you’re like me, you’re thinking, “surely they didn’t run in the middle of the night.” Oh yes they did! These five incredible athletes spent a weekend running for God’s Love We Deliver, raising nearly $20,000 and sharing their great feat with their friends on social media. We called them up to talk about the experience, and ask what motivated them to set an alarm at 2 a.m. for a 4-mile run.

Why’d they lace up their shoes and run around the clock? It all started when Dixon — a triathlete-in-training and an endurance athlete who’s on track to row across the Atlantic Ocean in December — decided to do something for vulnerable folks during COVID-19. As a native New Yorker, Dixon had grown up knowing about God’s Love and he even delivered meals for us with his parents. So, while self-isolating in Florida, Dixon saw a social media post by a friend of his supporting God’s Love and it clicked – Dixon knew what to do. He was going to complete the 4x4x48 Endurance Challenge. The Challenge was created by David Goggins, a retired Navy SEAL and ultra endurance athlete Dixon, Piers, Jeff, Heather and Matteo all deeply respect and admire.

“As a native New Yorker, I’ve known about God’s Love and the important work they do. And when COVID-19 hit, I knew I wanted to DO something with my time rather than spend it on the couch. It was amazing to have this go from an idea with my goal of completing this alone and raising $2,000 to a team of 5 raising nearly $20,000 in one weekend! New York City needs our help, and I’m glad the five of us could do this anywhere in the country, united with one goal: to run for God’s Love. I had a blast and can’t wait to do it again!”

“When I saw Dixon was undertaking this challenge I had a late night rush of blood and offered my help which I regretted on waking up the following morning. But it turned out to be one of the most fun things I’ve done – by the end of the weekend I had bonded so well with my fellow runners that I would have gone to war for them. And it was wonderful getting to know God’s Love and raising funds to help them continue their incredible work at such an important time.”

“Initially, I accepted the challenge because the gentleman in my life threw me into a group message with a bunch of nutty strangers, and I’m a woman who never turns down a good story or a good run, but really – and more importantly – I accepted because the work God’s Love is doing is paramount and I would have run 100 miles in support of it that weekend. I, like my dear friend Piers, immediately regretted the commitment, but the encouragement and adrenaline along the way made it exciting and fun immediately. Witnessing the money raised and the support from friends and strangers alike along the way made those 2am and 6am runs feel like delightful little prances, as well. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”

“When I received the email from Scott Berlinger highlighting Dixon’s plan to run the 4x4x48 I thought ‘what an interesting challenge’. However, as soon as I read he was doing the challenge to support Gods Love We Deliver, I wanted to participate. Donating did not feel like enough; I wanted to run alongside this crew of crazy and push myself, raise awareness for this amazing charity, and most importantly, do something to help others in need, especially right now. The camaraderie, group banter, the Strava posts, and all the support made it one of the most memorable experiences for all of us. Thank you to everyone who ran, donated, and supported. ♥️”

When I saw Dixon was taking on this challenge and using it as a vehicle to raise funds I went and looked into what God’s Love We Deliver’s mission was and knew this was an opportunity to make an immediate impact to my community with a donation.  Then the FOMO kicked in. My brain just immediately went to “I want to do this!”  So I donated and left a comment that I was going to join.

Then I thought it would, you know, sound super impressive to the lady in my life that I was going to run a bunch of miles for a good cause. I also knew she would join us without hesitation because…Heather is simply, a badass (insert more PC description…tough cookie? dogged, resilient, determined…a frondeur!)

Any hoot.

A serious hats off to Dixon, who has been a bit of inspiration to up my level of giving back to my community.  He’s a volunteer for Achilles International and he’s freaking training to row across the Atlantic Ocean with three friends in the TWAC to raise money and awareness for mental health.  He brought the five of us together for what will be something I know we all will remember as a really bright spot in what is otherwise such a difficult time for so many.”

Thank You for all that You Do

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you Dixon, Piers, Heather, Jeff, and Matteo. Your effort and your passion are contagious. We hope to see you in the Autumn at the Race to Deliver, for a albeit shorter, but similarly heart-felt run. This challenge has inspired our followers and supporters and most importantly has funded almost 2,000 meals for our clients.