Twenty-four hours, 122 miles and no rest

Tony runs so GEMS can too
By: Jim Linsdau News Messenger Sports Editor
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Lincoln is a community willing to roll up its sleeves when the going gets tough and that?s what one local father did when he learned his daughter?s school might have to cut out certain programs because of a shrinking budget. Tony Overbay stepped up again this year and let his legs do the talking when Glen Edwards Middle School experienced another shortfall in state funding. An experienced ultra runner, Overbay took to the track to raise money for Panthers? sports and ran 122 miles in 24 hours to break his own record by 11 miles. ?Last year, I ran 111 miles in 24 hours,? Overbay said prior to his run. ?This year, I?m going to best that and do 120!? Following the completion of his 122 miles that began at Glen Edwards and finished on the track at Lincoln High School, Overbay confessed he?d just thrown out the 120-mile announcement to attract attention to his cause. Although he?d run the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run and other ultra-distance events, he?d never completed 120 miles in 24 hours before. ?A lot of people just assume that I roll out of bed and can run 120 miles,? said Overbay. ?But I remember extremely well when a mile was a big deal.? Overbay said his children run cross country at GEMS. Besides raising money to keep such programs going, Overbay said he also hopes his effort attract parents to the benefits of running. He said it starts with a walk around the block and then progresses into a jog. ?Before they know it they?re runners!? Overbay said. Overbay?s run ended at 8:30 Saturday morning just before the 5k run scheduled as part of the middle school?s fundraising effort. It began Friday afternoon with fun and games for everyone with bounce houses and a pie-in-your-teacher?s-face attraction. Among the event organizers was Denise Blackstock, head of GEMS Association of Parents Teachers Students (APS). Blackstock has a daughter who also runs cross country at Glen Edwards. She said she planned to join Overbay on the track around 2 a.m. ?I can?t wait to come out to support Tony,? Blackstock said ?I think this event is a great way to raise money for the schools programs.? Communities like Lincoln may not be able to do much when it comes to state revenues but it can do things to support community sports. Unlike Overbay, not everyone needs to run 122 miles. Simply coming out in support of one?s favorite team or athlete can go a long way in assuring they continue. ? I get super excited when we do this,? said Overbay, ?and we raise enough for a year of sports, music (and) some computers for broadcasting.? In consideration of the school budget, Overbay joked that maybe he should run for a solid week.