Snow, rain, and high winds, with temperatures just above freezing. This weekend’s weather is hardly ideal for a 4-mile run.
But for Heroes In Transition (HIT) Executive Director Nicole Spencer, Board Member Savannah Fabbio, and longtime HIT supporter Lindsey Mahoney, the conditions are nothing they aren’t prepared for. “Almost all of our Saturday morning ruck trainings and a good majority of our Monday and Wednesday trainings have been in the rain or snow or it’s been super freezing out,” Fabbio said.
Those experiences will come in handy for the trio who will be pushing themselves to the limit physically, mentally, and emotionally as they participate in the David Goggins 4x4x48 Challenge, starting at 11 pm tonight when they set out on a 4-mile run. Every four hours, they’ll do it all over again, until 7 pm on Sunday evening when they’ll have logged a total of 48 miles in 48 hours.
All three are doing so to raise funds and awareness for HIT’s work which provides critical assistance to service members, veterans, and military families in our region.
It’ll be the third straight year that Spencer has done the endurance challenge. It’ll be the first for Mahoney and Fabbio. “It is one of those things, I watched Nicole do this for the last couple of years and I’ve been in awe of her doing it,” Fabbio said.
That admiration inspired Fabbio and Mahoney to lace up their sneakers and join Spencer in this weekend’s quest. At night, they will run individually while coming together during their morning and afternoon runs to support one another as they battle pain, fatigue, and inclement weather.
Spencer, whose brother Adam served in the Marines and was deployed to Iraq in 2009 – the same year she started training for her first marathon – realizes what she’s doing this weekend pales in comparison to what her brother and countless service members, veterans, and their loved ones have endured. “This is nothing compared to what our men and women in the military face, whether they’re deployed, returning from combat, or transitioning to civilian life,” Spencer said. “For me, it’s another challenge to let them know we have their back.”
Like Spencer, whose brother Adam will not be far from her thoughts as she runs this weekend, Mahoney and Fabbio will have similar inspiration from their own life experiences.
Mahoney grew up as a Navy brat which framed her understanding for how important HIT’s services are. “My dad was gone a lot. Having the family and couples activities that Heroes does, I really think my family would have benefitted from all of those resources. My parents split, before I was in high school, when I was a kid,” Mahoney recalled. “It was really difficult on our family and we didn’t have the type of activities that Heroes provides. I want to help provide that for young families who may be going through that right now so they don’t have to go through what I did as a kid.”
For Fabbio, it’s her parents – Doreen and Kent Landry who both served in the Marines – that she will draw strength from over the course of this weekend.
Having served on the HIT Board since 2020, she realizes how impactful our programs are, especially after witnessing the impacts that military service had on her own mother who was deployed to Afghanistan roughly two decades ago. “It changed her. I don’t know if having a community, where you talked to others about this stuff, would have had an impact on her, but I imagine it would have,” Fabbio said. “I think HIT provides such a safe space for people to talk about things and to just be around other military families. Creating that safe space for them is so important.”
While the three are experiencing a mix of excitement, nerves, and anticipation for what the next 48 hours will bring, they are grateful they will have one another to lean on when things get tough. “You do it for yourself – to push yourself. And I’m doing it for the fundraising aspect, but I think having the accountability of Lindsey and Nicole, knowing they are out there running at the same time I am – it’s supposed to be raining and snowing at 3 am – even though we may not be running together each leg, I know they are with me,” Fabbio said. “You have a community that is there for each other even though we may not be running together. It is amazing.”
You can support Nicole, Savannah, and Lindsey this weekend by making a donation here. Funds raised will go to support more than a dozen HIT programs which assist service members, veterans, and military families in our region.