Student runs 50 miles in a day

By Gus Bode

Chris Jones started his Friday with a two-mile run at 8 a.m.

He also ended his day with a two-mile run at 8 a.m. – Saturday.

Jones, an assistant resident hall director at Schneider Hall, ran 50 miles in 25 hours to raise money for the Women’s Center and awareness about sexual assault on college campuses.


Students joined Jones on each leg of his 50-mile run as he broke down his trek into two-mile segments that started and ended at Schneider Hall.

The support Jones received during the 25 hours is what he said kept him going.

“I haven’t had a single lap where I have had to run by myself,” Jones said at 2:30 a.m. “No caffeine or anything like that. I am running on an all-natural high from these people who come to help me.”

The run was part of a weeklong program Jones helped put together called “Universities United.” Four universities in Wisconsin and four in Illinois contributed to the cause by bringing in speakers and hosting events to discuss the threat of sexual violence on college campuses.

Jones’ event raised more than $500 for the Women’s Center and he said he has the kind customers of Carbondale’s Strip to thank for it.

“The people coming back from the bars [to their residence halls] have been very generous with their donations, so even though they can’t run, I am very grateful for them,” Jones said.

But for as much fun as Jones was having Friday and Saturday, he said sexual violence is something he takes very seriously.


Dorian Laferrara, an undecided sophomore from Warrenville, was one of the students who helped Jones promote the event throughout the week by chalking and making posters. Though she has only known Jones for a month, she said his passion for the cause is clear to everyone who meets him.

Jones’ shirt, which had the phrase, “Sexual assault – not on my campus,” is exactly what Laferrara said he believes.

“The shirt he wears today is the message he carries with him everywhere he goes,” she said. “Running 50 miles definitely grabs peoples’ attention, so I think he is getting the message out there.”

Jones said the event was about more than just raising money for a cause.

He said the run was about bringing people together and showing them what they can accomplish if they put their minds to it. Students could bike, walk or run the two-mile laps with Jones, who said he made sure to never leave the pack of people running.

As the day went on, Jones said he could start seeing everyone helping each other out more, which led to one group running the two miles in about 12 minutes.

Arron Elmore, a freshman from Pekin studying architecture, was one of the runners who was with Jones past 2 a.m. Elmore had run 12 miles by 2 a.m. and said he was ready for more.

“I am a little tired, but this is an incredible experience,” he said. “You can only hope this will help the cause at least a little, but I would do something like this again either way.”

Jones said he hoped the event showed people what they could accomplish.

“People have no idea about the potential of what the human body can do,” Jones said. “We get caught behind our TV or video games and drive our cars, but if people stepped outside and explored the world, they would be amazed at what they can do.”

After 25 hours of running, Jones was still not ready to take a rest. Jones said his body would be too sore to sleep so he was off to watch the cross country meet and football game later in the day.

“I’ll sleep when I’m dead and live till I die,” Jones said.

Jeff Engelhardt can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 268 or [email protected]