Janesville men to hike 64 miles to help local veterans

Racers raise money for homeless veterans program
Janesville men to hike 64 miles to help local veterans

Janesville men to hike 64 miles to help local veterans

Four men from Janesville have prepared to take a 64-mile adventure run in an effort to help homeless veterans.

The race, called the Frozen Otter Ultra Trek, will challenge participants to complete a 64-mile hike in Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine Northern Unit, and they will only have 24 hours to make it to the finish line.

According to the race’s website, only 100 people are able to take part in the hike and around 2 percent of participants complete it.

The four men from Janesville who plan to take part are Dick King, Antonio Estrada, Joel Galvan and Derrick Farris.

“It’s like a part-time job, the training that goes into this,” said Farris when asked about how the preparation has been.

Galvan said it can be a challenge to get everyone together, but when they do, they train in the Robert O. Cook Arboretum in Janesville and they try to do at least 10 miles at a time. Some of their training sessions can go up to nine hours.

“It’s going to hurt. It’s going to be cold. It’s going to be miserable but you can’t quit when you have your guys next to you,” Estrada said.

However, the challenge is not in vain. The team will attempt the Frozen Otter Ultra Trek to raise funds and awareness for Rock Valley Community Programs’ homeless veterans program otherwise known as “Housing 4 Our Vets.”

The programs offer housing and resources for military veterans transitioning to civilian life and those who may have fallen on hard times, or are battling a variety of issues including, but not limited to, post-traumatic stress disorder or drug and alcohol abuse.

According to Rock Valley Community Programs’ website, one in four homeless people is a military veteran.

“It hurts and we’re going to get blisters and we’re going to pay for it but it’s going to be worth it,” Galvan said.

Who could relate more to making a sacrifice to help others than fellow veterans?

Galvan, Farris and King served in the United States Marine Corps. Galvan and Farris did multiple tours in Iraq. Estrada did not serve in the military, but his father was a part of the Air Force and his brother is a U.S. Marine.

“It’s almost like we’re serving our country all over again in a different way. I feel like getting through the finish line it’ll definitely be one of the highlights of my life,’ Farris said.

The four men have already met their goal of raising $4,000 and will take on the challenge Sunday.