Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 8:34 PM on Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Road warrior's mission supports wounded vets

Matt Montavon expects to arrive in Homer tomorrow after running 1,100 miles alone and unsupported across Alaska, raising money and awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan charity that helps injured service members.

Montavon has averaged 30 miles per days since he started running from Deadhorse on Prudhoe Bay May 2, pushing up to 85 pounds of gear and food in a stroller. Freezing temperatures, water shortages and distances up to 250 miles between supply stops were a few of the challenges he encountered.

An ultra distance runner and 2010 graduate of Alaska Pacific University, Montavon began working as a mountaineering guide/instructor with the Alaska Mountaineering School in Talkeetna in the summer of 2009.

"It was that summer that I had the privilege of working with the wounded warriors on their climbing expedition up Denali," Montavon wrote on his website.

"I was amazed that despite all of the obstacles the wounded warriors had to overcome they persisted with unmeasurable determination and unwavering positive attitudes. Through mountaineering the wounded warriors proved to themselves and to others that they are still mighty warriors."

Four wounded warriors summitted Denali on that trip, and Montavon was inspired by those veterans to make the run across Alaska, which he had been planning to do for more than a year.

"My father and grandfather are both veterans and I am glad to be running in support of wounded warriors and hope to honor them through my run. Climbing mountains isn't cheap, but together we can raise the funds so our vets can rise above the clouds for new adventures in their lives," Montavon wrote.

As of Tuesday, Montavon had raised approximately $3,500 for the project.

He will guide another group of wounded veterans on a Denali climb in mid-June.

Visit Montavon's website, www.endorphinchase.com, to read the runner's bio, see pictures from the road and donate to the Wounded Warrior Project. Learn more about WWP at www.woundedwarriorproject.org.

All are invited to welcome Montavon as he ends his journey at the end of the Spit early tomorrow afternoon. A status update will be posted at www.homernews.com tomorrow morning.