DENVER - While people across the world are opening gifts Christmas morning, one Denver man spent his entire holiday trying to reach the 100-mile mark.
Todd Lytle ran around Washington Park in Denver for 24 straight hours to raise money for a family friend Dustin Hickok.
"[I] just wanted to do a little something on Christmas Day to give back to the family and to Dustin," Lytle said. "I was out for a run, and I just thought 'What else could I do to help this family, help Dustin?' And ... I looked at my feet while I was running and said 'You know what, I think I'm doing what I need to be doing.'"
Dustin, 16, is recovering from a skateboarding accident. He landed on his head and was not wearing a helmet.
He had severe brain trauma and was put into a medically-induced coma for over a week. He was just released from the hospital and will continue to recover at home. He joined Lytle on Christmas Day for a lap.
"It's inspirational," Dustin said. "I mean, he's doing so much for me."
Dustin's family said the doctors didn't expect Dustin to survive his accident, and they even had his last rights read at the hospital. Now, two months later, he's talking and starting to walk again. Dustin says he plays to help protect other kids by sharing his story and encouraging helmet use.
"I was the one that always wore my helmet," Dustin said. "Ont of most of my friends, I always wore my helmet. I was the one. I didn't wear a helmet ... landed on my head ... broke everything."
Since that moment, Dustin hasn't stopped fighting.
To learn more about the event, check out Lytle's Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/JdbaNL.
"We have $4,000 pledged," Lytle said. "One-hundred [donors and runners and] 40 running today. It's been just amazing. I've not done one lap alone, and that's really cool."
By Thursday morning, Lytle made it to 80 miles. That's about the distance of running from Denver's Wash Park to Breckenridge.
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