Beach runner eyeing six world records, all for disabled children

Posted at 6:51 PM, Aug 22, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-23 12:25:16-04

Virginia Beach, Va. - A Virginia Beach athlete will attempt six world records by running 24 straight hours while pushing disabled children in special running strollers.

Dennis Welch will start his event on the track at Virginia Beach Middle School.

"400 laps is a lot of laps," he said.

That's how many times around he thinks he'll go in 22 hours. The final two hours of his record attempt will be the Virginia Beach Rock and Roll Half Marathon.

He's doing this not for himself, but to raise money for a charity dedicated to including disabled children in running races. It's a charity he joined three years ago, and he says it entirely changed his outlook on running.

"You can see it in their smiles, their laughter, and to me that means more than a medal or money or anything," said Welch, a member of Team Hoyt Virginia Beach. "It motivates you to go a little bit deeper than you’d probably go on your own. You’re willing to hurt a little bit more, suffer a little bit more."

Welch, a top local runner, says when he's pushing a disabled child, he gets a feeling of happiness and accomplishment he's never experienced when racing just for himself.

"It’s a different feeling," he said. "It’s goose bumps every time for me. I’ve done 20 plus races with Team Hoyt now, and the feeling is the same every time."

His quest for the world records starts Aug. 31 and ends the next day at the finish line of the half marathon.

To donate to Welch's effort, click here.