Endurance athlete runs 218 miles to support grandmother recovering from COVID-19

Corey Cappelloni and Susan Kamenar.
(Image credit: AP Photo/Jessie Wardarski)

One thing kept Corey Cappelloni motivated during his 218-mile run from Washington, D.C., to Scranton, Pennsylvania: knowing that his grandmother would be waiting for him at the end of his trek.

In early June, Cappelloni's 98-year-old grandmother, Ruth Andres, tested positive for the coronavirus. Not being able to visit with friends and family made her sad, and to try to boost her spirits, Cappelloni, an endurance athlete who has raced around the world, sent Andres books with photos from his travels. Cappelloni had been training for an ultramarathon, and his girlfriend suggested he run to see Andres.

He turned the journey into a fundraiser called Run for Ruth, earning $24,000 to buy smartphones and tablets to keep elderly adults isolated because of the virus connected with the outside world. Cappelloni told The Associated Press he wanted to show Andres "that I'm here for her and that I really care for her, because she has always been there for me from when I was born."

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Cappelloni arrived at his grandmother's nursing home on June 19, not long after he received word that she had made a full recovery. Cappelloni had to stay outside, but Andres was able to see him from her window, and he relayed a very important message to her from his cellphone. "Nana, you're a strong person," he told her. "You're going on 99, and you still have many more miles." Catherine Garcia

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for TheWeek.com. Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and EW.com, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.