Chris McMartin is turning The American Legion 100 Miles for Hope into his own personal 100 Miles by land, sea and air.
And then some. McMartin is pursuing goals to:
• Run 100 miles.
• Bike 1,000 miles.
• Swim 10 miles.
• Fly a plane for 1,000 miles
• Scuba dive for 100 minutes.
His do-it-yourself challenge followed up his impressive feat during the inaugural campaign. Due to injuries related to his service, McMartin said he didn’t think he could run 100 miles during the 100-day campaign in 2020.
“But what I do partake in often is bicycling,” said McMartin, a school teacher who bikes three miles to and from work every day when it’s not raining or below 40 degrees. “I thought I’d be able to do that. One hundred miles came fairly easily. Then I thought maybe I could do 1,000 miles. Then I looked at the calendar and though I could do 2,000. I like round numbers, so I figured, ‘Why not?’”
He made it 2,000 in 2020.
When the challenge was extended to about 160 days this year, that sparked McMartin’s uber challenge.
“It’s a lot more broad-based so more people could participate,” said McMartin, who is a member of American Legion Post 305 in The Woodlands, Texas. “And I thought about what I could do to get people interested and donate to the Veterans & Children Foundation.”
McMartin, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, received his private pilot’s license in 2018. He earned his scuba certification a few years earlier. He’s already achieved his lofty goals for flying and scuba diving but weather and time have limited his bike mileage.
“Once school is out for the summer, I’ll have more time each day and be able to get out more,” he said, as the school year was winding down.
McMartin uses a spreadsheet to not only track his goals but plot a plan to meet each of them. “I track them aggressively,” he said. “They all still look within reach and I am very optimistic that I will be able to make those goals. I update my circle of friends and family periodically with my progress, and as a way to encourage them to donate to the Veterans & Children Foundation.”
The campaign is open to American Legion Family members and anyone else. While not everyone may want to participate in the physical activities, they are invited to join the campaign by supporting the foundation. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation that goes directly toward supporting the nation’s disabled veterans and military families who face financial crises.
“What has really inspired me, as a junior ROTC instructor, is the kids,” he said. “They have inspired me to keep up with them for the past six years. I love having a goal in mind, setting a goal and working to achieve it. With 100 Miles for Hope having a nationwide community that is doing it at the same time, they inspire me and I hope I inspire them.”