JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Training to run a marathon can be a grueling task on its own.
Now imagine training to run four races in less than a week.
That’s exactly what Johnston firefighter Scott Mooney is gearing up to do.
The 41-year-old is planning to travel to Orlando to participate in the Dopey Challenge this January.
The challenge entails completing all four Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend races on pace.
Mooney’s lacing up his running shoes on behalf of Give Kids The World Village, an 89-acre nonprofit resort in Florida that provides terminally ill children and their families with a week-long wish vacations at no cost.
Since it was first founded in 1986, Give Kids the World has welcomed more than 177,000 families from all 50 states and 76 countries.
Initially, Mooney planned only to run the Walt Disney World Marathon.
But he later decided that wasn’t enough.
“I looked for options to expand my personal challenge and Give Kids The World gave me that opportunity,” he said. “I’m doing it for something bigger than myself.”
Mooney is also running to honor his friend’s son Nick, a Give Kids The World alum who passed away two years ago.
“Give Kids The World isn’t some faceless organization,” he explained. “It’s people in the community and it feels good to support them.”
Mooney aims to complete all four races in four days. When all is said and done, he will have run 48.6 miles.
Mooney said he’s been training since April, which not only includes exercising, but also maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
“It’s a tough to balance your professional life, your personal life and your training life,” he said. “But for an event like this, it’s really worthwhile … knowing that I’m doing it for a cause much greater than myself.”
When asked how important it is to finish all four races, Mooney said it’s vital.
“I feel like I have to earn all of the support I’ve received from the community,” he said. “I don’t want to let all of my supporters down and I will finish.”
Mooney said he will always remember one conversation he had with someone who asked about his training.
“I was asked, ‘What are you running from?'” she said. “My reply instantly was not what I’m running from, but what I’m running for. I’m running for these kids that are waiting for a wish to [come true].”