200 miles later, Lake Forest resident completes non-stop run for Children’s Hospital of Orange County

From The Orange County Register

By Nathan Percy / Staff Writer

His feet are swollen and blistered. His back is in agony. But that’s all secondary in Jesse Zweig’s mind.

Just past 8 a.m., Monday, Zweig turned off Rancho Parkway into the Lake Forest Sports Park to meet a crowd of about 35 people with orange signs and balloons to celebrate his 200-mile journey, which started at Children’s Hospital of Orange County at 8 a.m. Friday.

“I did it!” said Zweig, who fell 76 miles short on his previous effort, in 2007. “This was 10 years in the making and this is really special. When you accomplish something like this, it’s emotional. I cried like a baby.”

Having his support group trailing him in an RV – including his wife, parents and close friends – made it even more significant.

The road was often difficult, with rain Friday night and a battle to keep food down early Sunday morning, but Zweig, 28, never caved. His continuous 200-mile run aimed to raise awareness for CHOC and to raise $50,000 from sponsors. As of 10 a.m., Monday, he had raised $11,960.

Donations are still being accepted, at ACauseForEndurance.com.

A support crew kept Zweig hydrated, fed and as comfortable as possible throughout the run.

When Zweig reached mile 170 Sunday night, he had a message for his team.

“I was kind of falling asleep while walking,” said the Lake Forest resident. “I looked at (close friend) Nate (Mouzis) and I said I’m going to have to start pushing myself really hard, it’s going to be really painful, but if I don’t, I’m going to fall asleep in a bush or a car’s going to hit me.”

He plugged in his headphones and he went for it, taking layers of clothing off and handing them to crew members as he heated up.

Thirty miles seemed like a lot left to cover, he said, but “it was a training run for me.”

“I looked at it as a speed workout and I just got in a zone. I had to do it at the right time and just feel it. Then I zoned out.”

Zweig officially reached 200 miles when he passed Santiago de Compostela Church on Lake Forest Drive. His crew honked their RV’s horn to celebrate the milestone. Zweig, with music on full blast, didn’t even hear it.

A little more than two miles later, he was able to celebrate after running up the steps to the front of the recreation center at the sports park.

“The only thing that holds people back is the individual,” Zweig said. “If you have a goal you want to accomplish, surround yourself with people who will help you accomplish that goal.

“Don’t be afraid to push yourself to come up with ideas that may seem crazy. Don’t be afraid to fail.”

Contact the writer: npercy@scng.com

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CHOC Children's is affiliated with the UC Irvine School of Medicine