LENEXA, Kan. -- As a Lenexa man prepares to race 100 miles to the finish line, he hopes it's just the start of a new journey.
Farhad Zarif spends his time training others to live healthy lifestyles at Life Time Fitness in Lenexa.
Now, he's taking time to focus on himself as he prepares to run 100 miles on March 24.
Zarif wouldn't call himself a runner. He said he actually hates running, but he's preparing himself to run 500 miles by the end of the year. At 6 a.m. on March 24, Zarif will hit the ground running.
"I'm starting in Ottawa, Kansas. I'm going all the way to Iowa, turn around and come back to Ottawa, Kansas. That's it, simple," said Zarif.
This isn't the first time he's taken on a challenge like this. Last year, he laced up his shoes and ran 100 miles, raising more than $20,000 for families battling cancer. This time around, Zarif hopes to raise money and awareness for his brothers and sisters.
"This time I wanted to help our veterans, the men and women who put the uniform on," said Zarif.
Zarif is a Marine veteran and served in Afghanistan. While he was able to come back and pick up where he left off, others weren't so lucky.
"The biggest problem we have is PTSD. When we come from war, adjusting back to normal life, to normal society, it's not an easy task," said Zarif.
Zarif said once he hits the 75-mile mark, he'll be tired, but he said there's no turning back. Zarif said while his pain and soreness might last a week, a veteran's could last a lifetime without the proper help.
"When you've hit rock bottom, on your knees on the trail, and you're dying of pain, and every inch of your body hurts, but knowing there are people waiting on you to be helped, and what you're doing is you're going to help people, that's the best gift," said Zarif.