OLATHE, Kan. -- A metro police officer is putting his body to the test by running 52 marathons in 52 weeks. On Wednesday he's running his 39th race, the Patriots' Run in Olathe. After he finishes, police officer Bob Schluben will be three quarters of the way towards his goal.
With each step he's raising money for two Kansas City charities, and while every race is important, today's marathon is a little more personal according to him. Dressed in his Lenexa police uniform, Schluben was ready to go to work, just not at his day job.
“I’m wearing it because all the people that died on September 11th, 2001. All the people that died including the police officers, fire fighters and first responders that actually sacrificed their lives for us,” Schluben said.
The marathon coincides with the 12th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks and some of Schluben’s fellow runners are also service men and women.
“It really has special meaning for me, it shows the importance of our community and our country,” Schluben said.
The race is one more stepping stone in his journey to run 52 marathons in a year's time. And on Wednesday he had a little sidekick to keep him motivated under the blazing sun.
“My 10-year-old son is out here as well. This will be his third marathon he's done,” Schluben said.
As a dedicated family man and police officer, Schluben said he was compelled him to run 52 races on behalf of two local charities. The first is S.A.F.E. (Surviving Spouse and Family Endowment Fund) --an agency which supports the families of law enforcement, firefighter and EMS members in the KC metro who died in the line of duty.
The second is the Sunflower House--a child abuse prevention and child-advocacy agency based in Shawnee, Kan.
“We thought he was nuts when he first came to us. I can’t imagine anyone achieving a goal like that, but I’m really confident he's going to,” Sunflower House President Michelle Herman said. “It’s just going to be wonderful to have him raise awareness for child abuse prevention.
Schluben said the thing that keeps him going is the fact that he's helping.
“It’s nothing compared to what these children go though, these victims of abuse, so I look at that in perspective and say I can do this. Once I cross that finish line, I’m already starting to prepare for my next race,” Schluben said.
Despite the sweat, he's proud to take every stride in uniform.
“The thing is over in the Middle East, they can’t just say, ‘Hey, I want to go home, I want to get in the air conditioning,” Schluben said.
If you want to donate to Schluben’s journey and help the charities he's sponsoring, click on this link for his Web site.