Self Proclaimed "Fat Guy" Loses 100 Pounds, Plans to Run, Raise Funds for MST Starting Saturday | Mountains-to-Sea Trail
On Saturday, May 11th, Raleigh's Ben Strunk, 30, will set off from Clingmans Dome in an attempt to set the trail's fastest known time (FKT) by completing the statewide journey in 24 days, covering an average of nearly 50 miles per day. The current FKT is held by Diane Van Deren, who ran the then 900 mile MST in 22 days. There is not currently a FKT on the 1175 mile version of the MST. The run will benefit the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and maintaining the trail. The organization also leads trail recovery efforts after the recent hurricanes in eastern North Carolina. Before Ben steps foot on the trail, he's already raised nearly $1,500 for the Friends! Thank you, Ben! Strunk is not the typical long distance runner. Six years ago, he weighed over 300 pounds after finishing undergraduate school. In his first year in graduate school at the University of Florida, he lost over 100 pounds and turned to long distance running to