APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Conventional wisdom would say that if you’re trying to run a marathon you wouldn’t do anything to weigh yourself down.
But don’t tell that to Cory Asimus, he’s never been one to back away from a challenge.
The Marine Corps veteran (2010-2015 and deployed to Afghanistan) and current Appleton firefighter is running the Fox Cities Marathon this weekend with a 100-pound rucksack strapped to his back.
“You just got to go a little bit slower,” said Asimus.
Slower than his normally very fast marathon pace (he’s a Boston qualifier), but not slow by any means. In fact, when Asimus laces up his running shoes this weekend he’s going for the world record for fastest marathon done while carrying 100 pounds. In the spring at the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon, he ran a world record for the half marathon distance for those running with a 100-pound pack on their back.
He said his family and friends have been very supportive of his goal and he has several people who help him train.
While Asimus said going for the world record is great, there’s a much bigger purpose behind his run.
Asimus is running to raise money for Vaspire316 which is an organization that raises money for veteran families that are battling cancer and helps veterans pre-screen for cancer.
Jacole Hall is the founder of the organization. She lost her husband Dominic to pancreatic cancer last year. Dominic Hall was a veteran and an Appleton police officer and his wife said he was exposed to toxins while deployed overseas that led to his cancer diagnosis.
“There’s so much purpose behind my pain, losing my husband and having my children lose their father,” said Jacole Hall. “There’s no words, I can either cry about it or I can be about it.”
Hall and Asimus connected through Keegan Murphy, another Appleton firefighter and military veteran who is battling lung cancer. Asimus has set a goal of raising $50,000. He said he hopes that the visual of him grinding through a marathon with a 100-pound pack on his back will inspire others to not only donate to the cause but to pursue their own goals and dreams.
“Pain with purpose, making your suffering not about you,” said Asimus.
“It’s so wonderful of him to want to do it for a good cause and not just for himself,” said Hall.