Plainview resident Jay Asparro plans to run 100 miles in 22 hours. It sounds crazy, but it’s all for a good cause. All proceeds for his run will go to Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation (LIAF).
“My grandmother, Ann, had been living with Alzheimer’s disease for a couple of years,” said Asparro. “I just wanted to help others with Alzheimer’s and I came to the foundation in January 2016. She passed away on April 5 of this year.”
When he first met with them, he said that he was going to do a 90-mile run from Montauk to Plainview in three days to raise money for the foundation. He ended up doing so in November 2016. He ran the 90 miles as 90 was the age of his grandma at the time. He ran 29.4 miles in one day, 31.2 the next and 29.4 in his final stretch. More importantly, he raised $37,000 by doing the run.
Asparro kept doing the run every year, but not as long as the 90-mile run. He’s also participated in major events, such as the New York City marathon, where he continued to raise funds.
“I’ve had family, friends and businesses support me with donations to get to that point,” said Asparro. “We’ve raised more than $70,000 through four years of doing these runs. Our goal is to get to $100,000 in the next run.”
This year, his 100-mile run will take place in a much more isolated venue. He will run the Kellenberg High School’s track in Uniondale. He will run in 55-minute increments with a five-minute break in between each run.
“I’ve been training since April,” said Asparro. “I’ve been running at least four days a week. I’ve been swimming, biking and doing yoga. Most importantly, I go to Restore Wellness in Woodbury to recover by going into the cryochamber that they have there.”
Tori Cohen, executive director for Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation, has been part of Asparro’s journey since 2016 and is greatly appreciative of what he has done for them.
“Jay’s mission intersects with the mission of LIAF in that we both understand and are inspired by the individual journeys of caregivers,” said Cohen. “Jay is running a path that is familiar to caregivers—a long, difficult and often tedious path that compels them to keep moving forward. They don’t often get to stop or take a break. LIAF provides the support along that journey—day programs, education, support groups and respite for the families who come to us.”
“People are going through this disease currently and they don’t know where to go for support,” said Asparro. “I hope through this running and seeing it getting covered, people can realize they can go to LIAF for support and use their programs. LIAF will let them know they are not alone.”
You can watch Asparro do his run at Kellenberg High School starting at noon on Nov. 2 and ending around 10 a.m. on Nov. 3. For more information on Asparro, visit www.theannasparrorun.com. For more information on LIAF, visit www.liaf.org.