Sophomores Sheldon Moysis and Shane Hansen, roommates in the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house, both had ‘run a marathon’ on their bucket lists. Neither thought it would become a reality — certainly not the way they are doing it now.
The two are halfway through their training to prepare for the Eisenhower Marathon in Abeline, Kan., April 11 to raise awareness for ALS — or Lou Gehrig’s disease — research.
“We’re both pretty ambitious and motivated individuals, and we thought, ‘Hey, this is something we could do to be a part of something great,’” Moysis said.
The thought didn’t start out so seriously, though.
“I thought it started off like a joke,” Hansen said.
That was in the beginning of November. Then, Hansen printed off a marathon training schedule.
“He’s like, ‘If we follow this, we could be ready to go by this date, approximately,’ and we kind of started on it, then we really committed to it, and we have been since then,” Moysis said.
With ALS as the fraternity’s national philanthropy, Moysis, a business marketing major, and Hansen, a medical biology major, set out to become the third and fourth Iron Phis currently in the University of South Dakota’s Phi Delt.
The achievement has two requirements. The first is to raise at least $1,000 individually, which will go toward research, education, screening and treatment of ALS. The second aspect includes the completion of an event that is challenging to the participant.
For Moysis and Hansen, that challenging event is the marathon.
To prepare, their training has been gauged by a strict, weekly workout schedule.
“On Saturdays are our big miles, so we just ran 12 miles, then it’ll be 10, and it goes back to 14 (the) next Saturdays coming up,” Hansen said. “Basically, it’s a lot of running, biking, swimming, just getting yourself ready for the long endurance and stamina.”
Moysis said having a partner on this journey has helped hold himself accountable for workouts and dieting. In the cases in which the two need encouragement, they turn to motivational quotes, songs and speakers, particularly Eric Thomas and Les Brown.
“When you commit to something, you find a way to make it happen, whether it’s getting motivated by listening to a song or a video,” Moysis said.
Another part of their inspiration to embark on their challenge came from fellow Phi Delt Anthony Fusco, a fifth-year senior.
“It’s just really cool ‘cause it’s something special. You could tell it meant a lot to him,” Moysis said. “And him being able to raise that much money for a good cause inspired me, personally.”
Fusco completed his challenge in August 2014 when he hit 2,130 consecutive softballs in honor of Lou Gehrig.
“It’s an extreme athletic challenge — for me that was the toughest part,” Fusco said. “(But) the pain is worth it, at the end of the day.”
He encourages Moysis and Hansen to remind themselves what they are doing is for a good cause, and though it is not easy, the fact they are doing it makes him proud of them.
The two hope to pass on their inspiration for the next Iron Phis in their chapter and keep the tradition going.
“I think it’s pretty cool, to say that you inspired someone or you motivated someone to do something great with their life, that’s always a really great feeling — it’s contagious,” Moysis said.
Hansen takes pride in leading by example, helping those who cannot always complete the challenges the Iron Phis complete.
“We’re doing it for the people that aren’t able to run anymore who have ALS,” Hansen said.
(Sophomores Sheldon Moysis and Shane Hansen jog around the track at the Wellness Center in preparation for their marathon. Nathan Ellenbecker / The Volante)