Carrie interviews two guys who are on two separate inspiring missions!
Johnny Gregorek is a world class runner who is preparing for the 2021 Olympic Games, and he is getting ready to attempt a World Record for Fastest Mile in Blue Jeans to raise awareness for mental illness.
Brian Thomas is an ultra runner and cancer survivor who has run across the country three different times! He is currently preparing to run uncrewed across the Rocky Mountains to raise money for COVID-19 patients.
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Bio courtesy of Bring Back the Mile
Johnny Gregorek – John, Jr. – became the second American sub-3:50 indoors, clocking 3:49.98 in Boston on March 3, 2019 at the Bruce Lehane Invitational Mile; runner-up to Yomif Kejelcha’s world record 3:47.01! In August, he won the 1500 meter silver medal at the Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru.
Gregorek had a breakthrough year in 2017 as he qualified for his first international team at the USATF Outdoor Championships when he unleashed a monster kick to move from 10th place to place third for the final qualifying Team USA spot, recording 3:43.99. In his build-up to the IAAF World Championships, Johnny won the Tracktown 1500m in 3:35.00 on July 6 to set a personal record, showing he was ready to compete at the highest level. In the London World Championships men’s 1500m final, Gregorek, the only American, finished 10th in 3:37.56.
Before going pro, Johnny had a successful collegiate career at Columbia University and after completing his undergraduate degree, competed for two seasons with the Oregon Ducks. At the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships, he placed 6th in the Mile with a time of 4:04.36, earning first team All-American.
Johnny broke 4 minutes for the first time on February 14, 2015 at the Millrose Games famed Wanamaker Mile, finishing 10th in 3:57.47 to join a short list of father / son combos (#9) to break the coveted sub-4 minute Mile mark with his father and 1984 Olympian John Gregorek, Sr. who recorded a 3:51.34 Mile personal record in 1982.
At the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, Gregorek placed 6th, clocking 3:38.76.
On February 26, 2017 at Boston University, John Gregorek Jr. & Sr. would become the fastest father / son Mile duo when Johnny ran 3:53.15 PR for a 3:52.25 average. Johnny’s mother Chris is also speedy with a 4:29.00 Mile PR, and the trio own the fastest family Mile average of 4:04.50.
My name is Brian Thomas and I am a retired ultra-marathon runner who is coming out of retirement. I have beaten stage four melanoma. I have run across the country (North to South and South to North) three separate times to help different people struggling. I ran in 2002, from my home town of Lake Orion, MI to St. Augustine, FL, 1207 miles. That run was to raise funds and awareness for Children with Cerebral Palsy.
I mentored two young boys (Brandon and Ramiro) over four years to repeat the 2002 run. We ran from West Palmbeach, FL to Lake Orion, MI (1387 miles), relay-style in 2012. We raised funds for colon cancer patients. I was diagnosed with cancer six months later and fought for my life (kicking and scraping) for a year and a half. That battle with cancers and a conversation with God inspired me to train again and run across the country for cancer patients like me. In 2015, Brandon and I ran two separate routes, Florida to Washington D.C. which, ironically, was 1200 miles even.
I will be running as many miles as I can from June 3rd to June 29th, in the Rocky Mountains to raise funds and awareness for the health and economic burdens related to the Covid-19 pandemic. I will be starting in the Sabino Canyon, Arizona, and running with the goal of reaching Montana (I said Ureka but that is not going to happen). The goal is to use the multistate distance (approximately 1000 miles in 26 days) to raise funds to support those affected both immediately and peripherally, by the COVID pandemic. Charities and individuals will receive support through this event. This even will be uncrewed (unsupported) and there will be no exact route but north to Montana.