By Tamas Mondovics
Five months ago, Army Sgt. Mike Morton, a member of the U.S. Ultramarathon Team, returned from Poland as the 2012, 24-Hour Run World Champion, stirring the sense of pride within the hearts of his friends, family, neighbors and community.
Morton’s title included breaking the U.S. field record as well as several other running records over the last year.
But that was last year, and for a runner who set out to complete a race equivalent to running more than six marathons in a one-day period, averaging 7 mph for 24 hours straight, the sport is more than just a competition as each race is but a stepping stone for the next.
“For me, running is a mental release,” he said after his last race. “It’s not about the competition but the love of the sport and the physical challenge along with the ultimate result of accomplishment.”
Morton, 42, is now gearing up and hopes to compete in several big races.
“We are trying to get sponsorship from local companies for Mike’s upcoming races,” said his wife, Julie. “He is working hard to defend his 24-Hour Championship scheduled overseas this month, to run the Western States 100 in July, which he won in 1996, and he has been accepted to compete in the Spartathlon in Greece this fall. He has a couple other 100’s sprinkled throughout the year along with extensive training.”
Julie mentioned that each race has an entry fee, travel costs, lodging costs, supply/aid costs, all of which adds up to a substantial expense.
“Mike will happily promote any business that would like to sponsor him,” Julie said adding that both organizations help military members and their families.
Businesses and all those interested in sponsoring or donating can contact Mike at MortonUltraRunner@yahoo.com.