Burbank resident Roy Wiegand spent Independence Day running 86 miles to raise money for children battling cancer and their families.
At 2 a.m. Friday morning, the ultra-distance runner began his journey at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, subsequently traveling through Burbank and Glendale on foot, and crossing the finish line in Santa Clarita.
Wiegand, 50, completed the trek to raise money for the Michael Hoefflin Foundation for Children's Cancer in honor of Christopher Wilke, the 12-year-old Burbank Boy Scout and Angels fan who lost his battle with the disease in March, just 21/2 months after he was diagnosed.
As of Friday morning, Wiegand had raised nearly $4,600 for the foundation.
Friday marked Wiegand's fourth consecutive year running long-distance for charity.
In 2011, Wiegand completed his first ultra-distance run, logging 100 miles up 12,000 feet of elevation to raise money for Lifewater International, a nonprofit that builds water systems in rural areas.
Over the next two years, he completed 110-mile and 250-mile runs, respectively, for the same charity.
This year, he chose to run in honor of Christopher after attending the boy's rosary service after he passed away and seeing crowds of people, of all ages, in attendance.
Wiegand logged 86 miles in less than 24 hours, but he wasn't alone.
A support van carrying snacks and drinks followed him the whole way, and through Glendale and Burbank, Wiegand was escorted by police and fire officials. He made three afternoon stops in Burbank, the first at St. Robert Bellarmine Church, where he picked up a very special passenger. Six-year-old Sun Valley resident Arely Delamora, a little girl with leukemia, had been outfitted with a special stroller decorated with red, white and blue ribbons and topped with two American flags for the occasion.
Together, the pair raced through the streets of Burbank, all the way to First United Methodist Church on Glenoaks Boulevard, where more fans had turned out to support Wiegand. Crowds of people — families and children — clapped, waved and cheered them on.
Wiegand ran solo to the last city stop, the Burbank Tennis Center, where a wonderful surprise awaited him. He was presented with a check from the Tennis Center, in the amount of $2,000, presented by Burbank City Councilman Jess Talamantes.
Scouts from Troop 502, Christopher's troop, held a fundraiser barbecue in support of the effort. After a brief stop, Wiegand was on his way to Santa Clarita, where another small boy with cancer was waiting to accompany him on the last mile of the day's journey.
"I don't cry normally, but that almost puts me there," Wiegand said. "How lucky am I to be able to do something like that?"
For more information about his charitable efforts, called "Roy's Run," visit http://www.roysrun.kintera.org.
Sara Cardine contributed to this report.
Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Twitter: @atchek
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