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From at 2 p.m. June 20 and for about the next 25 hours, Rex Morgan couldn’t slow down much or he wouldn’t meet the ambitious goals he set for himself for Friday and Saturday.
Close on the heels of crossing the finish line at the event at Henry County High School after walking a distance nearly equal to two whole marathons at Relay for Life, Morgan then spent several hours pursuing his mayoral duties by greeting the crowds at the Campbellsburg Day community celebration until about 3 p.m.
One of the many people in Henry County who’s seen family and friends struggle with cancer, Morgan, who turned 50 this year, wanted to do something special to honor his father.
For the last six years, Morgan had walked 30 miles to help out in raising funds and awareness in the fight against cancer, but this year, he didn’t stop until after walking an additional 20 miles on top of that.
“I wanted to walk 50 miles to honor my dad,” Morgan explained. “He passed at 50 from lung cancer.”
There’s also many great people in the community who have fought against cancer that Morgan found inspirational, too, he added.
In the three months leading up to Relay, he prepared by walking between four and 12 miles three times a week and ended up dropping about 30 pounds.
Morgan didn’t wait for the Relay ceremonies before kicking off his laps — he began at 2 p.m., five hours before everything else got underway.
A Friday afternoon storm delayed him for about an hour and he participated in the opening ceremonies — for one, by lighting the Relay torch.
“When it started raining, it started concerning me,” Morgan said, about whether he could get the whole distance in. “I usually finish up around 5:30 (a.m.), but I finished up at quarter ‘til 6, so I kept a good pace.”
That made his speed about four miles per hour.
“To maintain that for so long it kind of wears on you,” he said.
But Morgan felt himself buoyed by many of the members of his family who turned out to show their support and the encouragement of many other Relay participants.
Afterwards, Morgan thought he might lose a toenail as a result of his exertion, but he stressed that any aches and pains he experienced pales in comparison to what people fighting cancer go through.
Morgan didn’t take much of a break between meeting his walking goal and joining in the festivities at Campbellsburg Day, where attendees saw him throwing candy from the back of a pickup during the parade.
“I felt a lot better than I thought I would,” he said. “I stayed until 3 o’clock and then my wife made me go home.”
The city staff, especially recreation Director Andrea Johnson, worked hard and put together a really good event for Campbellsburg Day, Morgan said. It’s all a part of giving citizens things to do and making Campbellsburg a better place to live.
Morgan, who raised $1,638 from the event, plans to keep his support of Relay going in the future, but not 50 miles in one go.
“As long as people want to sponsor me, I’ll walk,” he said. “I’m glad to do it and raise some money for the American Cancer Society.”