Wilmington man runs ultra-marathon backwards to support local youth

Wilmington man runs ultra-marathon backwards to support local youth
McCullen wanted to do something that would inspire innovation and success through an active and healthy lifestyle. (Source: Ryan Koresko)

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - Wilmington designer Tracy McCullen is running 100 miles—backwards—in 100 hours, from Thursday December 17 through Sunday, to raise $100,000 for the Community Boys & Girls Club of Wilmington.

His motivation? To build a “Track of Optimism and Field of Dreams” in the Northside community.

McCullen was inspired to create the outdoor space when he was asked to design a playground in the Northside community. He wanted to do something that would inspire innovation and success through an active and healthy lifestyle.

Money raised from this event, dubbed “100Ultra4kids,” will go toward funding a 400-meter track with an interior field, an interactive exhibit fostering the pursuit of dreams and entrepreneurialism and an amphitheater.

McCullen hopes the unusual fundraising event will inspire community youth to have confidence, accomplish their goals and ultimately achieve their full potential.

“At 61 years old I can run 100 miles backwards and people say “Are you sure you can run 100 miles backwards?” And, it’s so funny because in my mind it’s like, it’s already done. I just have to show up and do it,” said backwards runner McCullen.

If successful, McCullen will become the first person in the US to run an ultra-marathon backwards, the second in the world.

Many volunteers have rallied around McCullen to support his endeavor, including his friend and mentor, Charlie Engle, a world-renowned ultra-marathoner.

Click here for more information about the event and to donate.

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