Running 2,000 miles for the cure

As Rusty Tolliver and brothers Scott and Rhys Jenkins approached the end of their 2,000-mile run from Boston to Austin on Friday afternoon, they were greeted by a small crowd of friends, family and a few local news cameras.

The trio was running to raise money for four different charities, including Young Texans Against Cancer, the British Heart Foundation, Help for Heroes and the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes. The runners raised more than $10,000 for the four charities.

Tolliver knew he wanted to raise money through running and eventually shared the idea with Rhys. The pair regularly ran together as camp counselors in 2006, and Tolliver knew that Rhys would be interested in a long-distance run. After Rhys became involved, his older brother Scott became interested and decided to join the team.

Beginning in Boston on Sept. 15, the group ran an average of 35 miles a day. Tolliver and Rhys made the 61.1-mile stretch from College Station to Bastrop the day before Thanksgiving so that they would be able to spend Thanksgiving Day with Tolliver’s family.

The idea for the run started after Tolliver lost an aunt to cancer in 2009. His mother also survived two bouts with cancer, he said. While studying journalism in college, Tolliver covered a story about Young Texans Against Cancer and was interested in what he describes as the organization’s distinctly local element, which he felt was lacking in other cancer-support organizations such as Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.