Scott Tucker Sponsoring Charitable Kansas Policeman
Helping Kansas policeman run 52 marathons in 52 weeks for charity
As a professional owner/driver in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, Scott Tucker appreciates the importance of sponsorship, which is a vital component in addition to the endurance and motivation required to make it to the finish line.
Tucker is a reigning ALMS champion in the P2 category with his team, Level 5 Motorsports. At the end of next week, Tucker will also compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
When Tucker heard that Kansas policeman Bob Schluben was pursuing a goal of running 52 marathons in 52 weekends in 2013, he stepped forward with major sponsorship. Schluben is based in Lenexa, Kan. – not far from Tucker’s home in Overland Park, Kan. – and is running in to raise money and awareness for Sunflower House and the Surviving Spouse and Family Endowment Fund (S.A.F.E.).
Tucker’s sponsorship helps make it possible for the officer to toe the starting line at races from all over the United States, from New Mexico to New York. It’s up to Schluben to complete the 26-mile, 385-yard distance. So far, he’s been spot on. Through June 9, he’s completed 23 events (22 full marathons in addition to a 50-kilometer ultramarathon), breaking the four-hour barrier on 13 occasions with a best time of 3:29.40 in the Louisiana Marathon. Upcoming races include Philadelphia, Pa.; Aspen, Colo.; Salt Lake City, Utah; the prestigious Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., and his hometown race, the Kansas City Marathon.
Also motivating Schuben is the realization that he is driving recognition for Sunflower House and S.A.F.E. Sunflower house is a youth advocacy center in Shawnee, Kan., where children are interviewed and given medical care after a report of child abuse has been made. S.A.F.E. is a community fund founded in 2003 to support the families of Kansas City area law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency service personnel who perished in the line of duty.
“I’m running for the police officers who aren’t around anymore to take care of their families,” Schluben said. “I’m running for the kids who can’t stand up for themselves because they’re helpless. What I put myself through at every race is nothing compared to what a family goes through when they lose a loved one and what a child goes through when they are abused.”
Schluben admitted that scheduling issues, tough weather conditions and steep travel expenses have been daunting at times. However, the adrenaline rush of completing each marathon and the camaraderie felt among his fellow runners make it all worthwhile.
“At most sporting events, like a football or baseball game, people cheer for one side, but marathon running is different,” he says. “Everybody wants you to finish and you want everyone else to finish because we’re all in this together. The only person I’m racing against is myself.”
Recently, Tucker had the opportunity to meet Schluben, congratulate him on his success and offer financial support to S.A.F.E. and the Sunflower House.
"I have been very inspired by the dedication Bob has shown in support of Sunflower House and S.A.F.E.," Tucker said. "His tremendous effort has helped to increase awareness of these great organizations and I wanted to help him reach his goal. It is a great thing he is doing."
In addition to supporting Schluben’s causes, he also is involved in the “Push Across America” campaign started by Ryan Chalmers from Churchville, N.Y. Born with spina bifida and unable to use his legs, Chalmers has been confined to a wheelchair his whole life.
Chalmers’ mission is to push his chair across the country in 71 days to motivate others to overcome their own obstacles and never give up. He left Los Angeles on April 6 and is due to arrive in New York on Saturday, around the same time Schluben will complete his 24th marathon.
As Schluben and Chalmers continue their missions, Tucker and Level 5 prepare for the historic 24 Hours of Le Mans. The race takes place on June 22 and the hectic preparations are well underway.
“Our team puts in long hours of very hard work to get ready for Le Mans,” Tucker said. “But, it does not compare with what Bob and Ryan are doing. We appreciate everything those two are doing and we are proud to be associated with them.”
Anyone wishing to support Officer Schluben can do so by donating at this site: http://www.bobschluben.com/donate.html. For information on Chalmer’s quest, visit www.pushacrossamerica.org.