Dayton police officer takes on 100-mile race for charity

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — Travis Hooker, a police officer in the Town of Dayton, will run the Yeti 100 race to help support the Presbyterian Children's Home of the Highlands.

Travis is practicing running with the flag that was donated to him | Photo: WHSV

The race is a 100-mile track or 30-hour race, held in Abingdon. Runners go up and down the Creeper Trail.

Hooker is set to take on the challenge on September 27, 2019.

Hooker said he was inspired by the Shenandoah Valley community to give back and take on the race.

"When you see the folks out here in the community giving to one another, you see the heart, and that inspired me to do this for somebody else," said Hooker.

Mike Hendricksen, a board member for the children's home, said that it just so happens to be the 100th anniversary of the home, so the mission lined up perfectly.

"He said, 'Hey, I'll run. Is there any way we can do some fundraising for it?' And I said yes, we will do the fundraising if you can do the running, because we're not doing the 100 miles," joked Hendricksen.

Hooker said he does not consider himself a runner; in fact, he has never even run a marathon, but it's all about the challenge.

"When you have a goal in mind, everything's a mentality. It starts there first," said Hooker.

He wanted to represent the past and the future, so he asked the Dayton American Legion Post #27 to donate a flag to run with during the race. The post gave him a three-foot by five-foot American flag. He created a PVC pipe holder to carry it as he runs.

"I'm only five foot myself, so it kind of sent that message that this isn't about me, it's more than that," said Hooker.

His goal is to have people pledge monetary donations to support the children's home for each mile he runs.

"He's running money for people to be able to do what they do on a daily basis to try and help kids out of situations and change their lives," said Hendricksen.

He said he wants to help inspire the children through this challenge.

"I want them to know that any goal they want to go out and seek, you start it from a mental aspect first, you acknowledge that goal and you go out and you achieve it."

For those who want to support Travis or donate to the children's home, you can email Dale at dale@pchh.org or call 276-228-2861.