More than a dozen of Longmont resident Chris Robbie's friends and family members gathered near a pavilion at McIntosh Lake on Monday to cheer him on as he crossed a lime-green finish line made of streamers and balloons.
Robbie, wearing worn tennis shoes and a green shirt that has "15 marathons, 15 days, 15 teachers" on the back, crossed the finish line around 11:15 a.m. to the cheering fan club.
Robbie, 24, completed 15 marathons in 15 days to raise awareness and money for a school in Uganda supported by his nonprofit organization, Enduring Communities.
To donate to Chris Robbie's efforts to help fund a school in rural Uganda, visit 15foruganda.com
After visiting the rural Ugandan village of Kito in 2012, Robbie and a group of friends started Longmont-based Enduring Communities to support the Kito Community School. Since the nonprofit launched in February 2013, the school has expanded from a one-room schoolhouse with 10 students to a 10-room facility with 330 students, thanks to help from Enduring Communities.
During the past 15 days, Robbie's challenge has raised nearly $11,000 for the school, about $250 short of his goal.
Robbie sought $11,250 during his challenge, which would cover the salaries of the 15 faculty and staff members at the Kito school for a year, he said.
Despite the shortfall, Robbie was confident Monday that the remaining amount would come through before Monday when he heads back to Kito to visit the school.
Since June 16, Robbie has run more than 390 miles along Colorado's Front Range including Lyons, Frederick, Erie, Lafayette, Boulder, Niwot, Mead and Longmont.
During each marathon, Robbie said, he walked about one of the 26 miles to have a snack and drink some water before picking up the speed. He averaged about five hours and 40 minutes per marathon, getting faster as he went.
Robbie's time Monday was about five hours and 30 minutes.
The toughest day was Day 8 in Erie, Robbie said.
The early mornings and physical strain were getting to him. It was hard to walk that morning, so Robbie started slow, he said. But within a few minutes he was feeling better, warming up his muscles, jogging and then eventually running to the finish.
Robbie blogged every day about his runs on 15foruganda.com/run-blog, and tracked his mileage and time using the Map My Run app on his phone.
Roberta Lozinski, Robbie's mom, said she had no doubt that her son could handle the mental struggle from the exhausting feat, but she worried about his physical health almost constantly during the 15-day challenge.
"My legs feel pretty good actually," Robbie said after he crossed the finish line Monday. "Mentally, it has been really challenging. But physically, everything feels good."
After finishing his marathons, Robbie was looking forward to a beer and a spicy burrito, two things he stayed away from during the more than two-week feat.
"No more bananas or PB&Js," Robbie said.
The marathons pushed his physical and mental limits, Robbie said, but thinking about the excitement he will see in Uganda next week when he presents the money to the students and faculty made it all worth it.
"It's amazing what you can do when to push yourself mentally," Robbie said. "I pictured the kids and the teachers and just the village and how much this would help them, and that kept me going."
Contact Times-Call community reporter Whitney Bryen at 303-684-5274 or email@example.com.