BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Their goal is to run a marathon in every state—but for a Baltimore man, his most recent race will likely be the most unforgettable…all thanks to his brother.
Jessica Kartalija has more.
Raleigh’s Rock and Roll Marathon was the 22nd marathon for brothers John and Chris Heuisler, but certainly the first of its kind.
“This is not a marathon of 26 miles,” Chris Heuisler said. “This is a marathon of his life.”
For John’s upcoming 40th birthday, Chris had a big surprise.
“At mile one, I see a guy in the Fletch costume,” John said.
Turns out, it was their cousin from California.
“I ask Chris, `Did you know he was coming?’ `No,'” John said. “He’s still playing dumb at that point.”
As the race goes on, more family and more friends.
“There’s someone at every mile marker at the course and I thought back to what Chris had said when we started,” John said. “Chris said, `Just taking it one mile at a time.'”
It took a year for Chris—who lives in Boston—to plan this marathon of surprises.
“It’s easy to put something like this together when everyone is so passionate about giving back to John,” Chris said.
“He said, `You know, we’re coming up to the last mile and you know who is going to be there and this is where I leave you,'” John said.
Chris saved the best surprise for last.
“It was really special to be able to run that last mile with her and then carry our two kids across,” John said.
The brothers will compete in a triathlon next. John also runs three days a week with a group called Back On My Feet, helping Baltimore’s homeless improve their lives through running.