Topekan uses his 155-mile ultra-marathon to help others

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Ultra-runners are among the greatest athletes in the world and a Washburn-Rural alum is determined to join them.

Brendan Funk will compete in the 4 Deserts Race Series -- a 155-mile marathon over four continents.

"One of the races takes place in the Namibian Desert, which is way out in South Africa. There's one in the Gobi and then our final race is actually in Antarctica," explained Funk.

If the 20-year-old runner successfully completes all four legs of the Desert Race, he will be the youngest ultra-runner in the world.

This would be a surprising feat for the man who once quit his high school cross country team.

"I really just want to be able to accomplish something and go through with it until it's finished," said Funk.

But, Brendan's motivation isn't entirely intrinsic.

He says this endeavor was inspired by his internship at Camp Barnabas -- an organization aiding children and adults with special needs.

"The things that Camp Barnabas does and the growth that you see in these individuals is absolutely phenomenal. I was trying to think of whatever way I could to give back to them," said Funk.

He interned at Camp Barnabas in the past.

Brendan's goal is to raise $36,000. So far, the ambitious runner has only collected $560.

"I'm doing this to spread the word about Camp Barnabas and special needs as a whole. I'd really appreciate it if anyone donated."