Adam Monke left the Fremont Family YMCA in darkness and returned to it 104 miles later in darkness, but he'd completed his goal.

The Fontanelle ultra-marathoner conquered his April 24 WH(Y) I Run effort to raise money for the Fremont Family YMCA. The Arlington High School graduate ran to Lincoln's Downtown YMCA and back despite encountering undesirable weather along the way.

“It was mind over matter for him,” said Fremont YMCA Chief Operating Officer (COO) Jeremy Winn on Monday. “It was amazing to me, the mental toughness.”

The COO followed the 104-mile course by vehicle while Monke ran it, providing check-ins with the marathoner to make sure he was staying hydrated and getting enough nutrients to finish. Winn gave credit to Sarah Monke, Adam's wife, who kept her husband in running shape throughout the day.

Monke challenged himself to raise money for YMCA childcare services, and youth programming and summer camps, after a Kansas run he'd been training for was canceled due to COVID-19. The runner dedicated his charitable effort to the memory of Alex Lamme, the namesake of another YMCA run that was also canceled, and to a community he is on the same wavelength with. He is a Fremont Family YMCA board member.

“It means the world to have somebody like that (on the board),” Winn said.

The COO said he's spoken to Monke about his ultra-marathons in the past, but seeing the Washington County native in action was something new altogether. He saw the pain and mental toughness, but also his welcoming nature when encountering supporters with signs and runners who joined along during segments of the day-long effort. The runner spoke to each of them.

“(Monke) never seemed out of breath,” Winn said.

The Fremont Family YMCA is still accepting donations in the name of the WH(Y) I Run effort online at fremontfamilyymca.org/support-y.

For more information about the Blair Family YMCA, go online to blairymca.org.

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