After losing both of his legs while serving in the Marine Corp, Rob Jones has shown the world that with determination, nothing is impossible.
In 2010, while in Afghanistan, Jones was struck by an IED. As a result, Jones had parts of both legs removed, leaving him unable to walk without the help of prosthetics.
Now, seven years later, Jones has done something very few can claim to have accomplished. In a span of 31 days, Jones ran, and finished, 31 marathons.
That’s 26.2 miles, everyday, for an entire month.
“I’m pretty sore, but overall I am feeling pretty good,” he told Stars and Stripes on the morning of his last marathon. “I’m feeling good. I’m excited about this last one. It is going to be painful.”
Jones’ journey started a month ago in an effort to raise money for groups like the Semper Fi Fund, the Top of the Towers foundation, and the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes. He has said that so far he’s raised over $125,000, adding that “we have a lot of T-shirt money, so we have to add that in there.”
Jones was a combat engineer with the marine reserves in Iraq in 2008, prior to his service in Afghanistan. Many in a similar situation would spend a lot of time grieving over their loss, but, according those close to him, that isn’t Rob Jones. After losing his legs in an explosion, Jones was evacuated. When his mother came to visit her son at the hospital, he was passed out with a pirate hat on. That sense of humor, and personality, pushed Jones to perform standup comedy on the “Comedy Warriors: The Road to Healing” tour.
The 31 day marathon challenge began in London on October 12, and continued all the way up to Veterans Day in Washington D.C.
The journey was far from an easy one. Anyone who has run a marathon will tell you that they aren’t easy. Finishing one is an accomplishment in itself, but imagine having to run without the help of your legs. In the middle of a race in Atlanta, Rob had taken a hard tumble, but even that wouldn’t slow him down.
“The last three have been tough because of the back injury,” he said when asked about his toughest race, prior to Sunday. “It is hard to say which is the toughest, but I would have to say Houston, because I felt the most like crap after that one.”
“The last three ones, it was a lot more pain than usual, more an injury pain, but Houston — I did not have any energy in my body, so it was a different kind of discomfort.”
On Sunday, at 1:30 pm, Rob Jones crossed the finish line, completing what many would call an impossible accomplishment.
“I feel thankful for all this group of people around here supporting me,” he said. “I feel thankful to live in a country that appreciates veterans so much. I feel thankful for living in a country where there are so many people that are willing to sacrifice everything for it, and I’m thankful for living in a country that is worth that sacrifice that people make.”