SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Legend says the first marathon was run by a Greek messenger bringing news from the battlefield. After running more than 25 miles, he told the assembly, "We won," then collapsed and died.
So imagine the challenge of running almost a marathon a day for a month straight. That's what one San Diego man is doing in honor of his son, who died of cancer more than a decade ago.
It's an amazing journey -- a run from San Francisco to San Diego that will take a month to complete, all in the memory of a son taken by cancer.
"We lost our 6-year-old Emilio to cancer, and wanted to give back," Richard Nares said.
Nares and his wife Diane turned their loss and pain into a positive. Together they started the Emilio Nares Foundation 10 years ago. Its main missing is getting needy young cancer patients to the hospital.
"Our real, major program is Ride with Emilio. And that's why I'm really running, to raise funds so that these children don't miss their cancer appointments," Richard said.
Many young cancer patients with compromised immune systems would have long bus rides to chemo appointments without ENF and its minivans.
"You want to be around people who are not sick, so you can't control that on a bus or cab," Richard said.
ENF now provides a number of services to young cancer patients and their families, including providing "loving tab" shirts that make a trip to chemo just a little more bearable. All this takes money. That's where this run comes in.
"It's close to 700 miles a day, and during my training the last two months I've been doing more than 180-mile weeks, which takes a lot of time," Richard said. "People say it's physical, but it's really 90 percent mental."
Richard has a lot of support, including his running buddies. Bob Seligman met Richard at the San Diego Track Club, but has become a part of the ENF family.
"You know, few of us can relate directly to that. Fortunately we've not lost a child. But Emilio, although I never had the pleasure of meeting him, is Richard's motivation," Bob said.
That motivation will push him through on his epic California journey.
"My son is always with me. Not just my son, all the children that I see at Rady Children's Hospital, the cancer patients. What they have to endure… my little trip is just a month. My run's not really much," Richard said.
Richard started on Sunday and is on schedule. If you'd like to support him, you can buy a running shirt, or just make a donation. He's hoping to raise about $125,000.