TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Tampa Bay area man is attempting to break the world record for the fastest run across the United States, in honor of a fallen US Navy Seal and the Wounded Warrior Foundation.
Nels Matson is attempting the run in honor of Chris Campbell.
“He had this mission that he wanted 100,000 people to come together to help his wounded brothers and sisters who did make it home. He wanted that help by those 100,000 contributions to the Wounded Warrior Project,” Matson explained.
Matson is challenging the City of Tampa with a treadmill challenge during his training this weekend, to see if they can run more miles than him in an event at the Anytime Fitness Location off of Racetrack Road. He said there will be two treadmills set up: one for him, the other for the competition.
“Everybody can come in and log 15 minutes worth of miles, and I’ll be going for two days, 12 hours straight for both those days,” he said.
It’s not the first time Matson has done something like this. He told 8 On Your Side he’s cycled across America “a couple times” and has also run from Tampa Bay to Washington D.C.
Campbell was killed on Aug. 6, 2011. Matson is close friends with his sister.
“The stories talk about, he really embraced the moment he was in. With these big type of events, you really have to be in the moment, you can’t think, ‘hey this huge obstacle I’ve got to overcome,’ you’ve really be in the moment and enjoy what moment you’re in,” he said. “So I draw on some of that inspiration from stories of him, of just this amazing man being able to be in the moment.”
The record, tracking mileage from San Francisco to New York City, is hard to beat, according to Campbell. The challenge will help get Campbell’s mission across the states, to about 250 different cities, Campbell said.
Matson will begin the challenge on Aug. 30 and attempt to break the record in less than 42 days, hoping to run a record-breaking pace of more than 72 miles per day.
You can learn more about Matson’s mission and about Campbell himself online.