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Lenexa officer laces up for 52 marathons in 52 weeks

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SHAWNEE, Kan. -- Avid runners love a challenge, that's why so many train and compete in marathons. But a Lenexa police officer is taking his love for pounding the pavement to a whole new level.

How about 52 marathons in 52 weeks.

Bob Schluben thought long and hard about the physical, mental and financial commitment and began the journey Jan. 5 in Jackson, Miss.

No, he's not crazy, just dedicated.

He's also unselfish. He started the website bobschluben.com to update his progress and post pictures of his races. But the site also reveals the true reason for the 52 in 52.

He's raising money for 'Safe', a group that supports families of fallen first responders and for Sunflower House.

"It's wonderful what Bob is doing," said Michelle Herman, President and CEO of Sunflower House.

"Sunflower House is a place where law enforcement and child protective workers will bring children that they believe have possibly been abused"

As a Lenexa police officer, Bob's dealt with abuse cases and knows how fragile the kids are. He knows firsthand how supportive and encouraging the employees at Sunflower House can be. He's seen the children open up to them.

"It's hard to talk to them in their own home in the environment where the abuse may have taken place and to get them someplace where they feel safe where they feel comfortable and be able to do our investigation," Schluben said.

As a husband, father and law enforcement officer, Bob also knows the importance of 'safe' -- the Surviving Spouse and Family endowment fund.

The group provides financial support when an officer, fire fighter or paramedic is killed in the line of duty.

Two important causes and one incredible task -- 52 marathons in 52 weeks.

It's a challenge to say the least...but one bob is up to...and each race he gets the encouragement to continue.

"A complete stranger cheering you on is more motivational than your favorite song on your iPod, really neat to hear people cheer for you."

Many more strangers could soon be cheering for Schluben and it has nothing to do with running, rather for raising awareness and money.

Schluben has links to his marathon schedule as well as information on safe and sunflower house on his website.

He hopes his challenge, challenges others to donate and support both organizations.

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