If you were like most people, and you were supposed to run a marathon this month that ended up getting canceled because of the COVID-19, you’d probably thank your lucky stars for dodging a bullet.
But Clackamas Community College President Tim Cook (no, not that Tim Cook) isn’t like most people.
When Cook, a long distance runner with the goal of running a marathon in every state, learned that the marathons he had planned to run this month in Michigan and Wisconsin were canceled, he decided to go the distance anyway, just a little closer to home.
Already trained and ready to run, Cook decided to make use of the quiet and empty CCC campus in Oregon City to run a one-person marathon on Saturday. It took 13 laps around the college’s 165 acres to make up the 26.2 miles of a marathon.
Thinking of the sacrifices many are making right now because of the coronavirus pandemic, Cook dedicated each lap to a different sector of the community and the work being done to slow the spread of COVID-19.
His laps were dedicated to: health care workers, first responders, current CCC students, the CCC Foundation and donors, college faculty, Cougie (the college’s mascot), K-12 educators, business partners, college staff, parents homeschooling children, everyone physically distancing, CCC alumni and, finally, the CCC Class of 2020.
Before starting the final lap, an out-of-breath and tired-looking (but not nearly as out-of-breath and tired-looking as I would have been) Tim Cook addressed the senior class for a video the college later posted to YouTube.
“Class of 2020 students, this isn’t the graduation you wanted or expected, but we really want to shout out to you and congratulate you for your marathon, getting it done, and becoming a member of the Cougar nation,” he said. “Way to go, Class of 2020! Go, Cougs.”
At the finish line, with Associated Student Government President and senior Ashley Magaña donned in a cap and gown at his side, Cook said, “We are all in this together. We will be back together when it is safe to do so.”
With the April 18 marathon in the books, Cook has completed 34 marathons in 22 states.
The Clackamas Community College Foundation has created a COVID-19 Relief Fund with the goal of raising $200,000 for students and programs impacted by the new coronavirus. The funds are being used to provide internet connection, computers, tuition and fees, and classroom materials to ensure education is accessible to all students.
To donate, visit https://give.clackamas.edu/covid-19. Checks may be mailed to the CCC Foundation at 19600 Molalla Ave., Oregon City, OR 97045 with “Covid Relief” in the memo.