Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Don Halke will take on the Ultra Grand Slam for Cancer

Doing ultras for charity is one thing, but how about the Grand Slam?!? Don Halke of Harrisburg, PA, will be running the Ultra Grand Slam this year to raise awareness (and money) for the American Cancer Society. He was inspired to raise awareness for cancer this year since it was the 25th anniversary of his father's death from colon cancer. After his friend of 40 years and best man at his wedding, Glenn Hoffman, was recently diagnosed with the same disease and began a successful recovery, he realized how far medical science had come.

The Ultra Grand Slam (aka The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning) consists of officially finishing the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run, the Leadville Trail 100 Mile Run and the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run all in the same year. The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning Award was established in 1986, when Tom Green was the first finisher. The deadline to sign up for this year is June 20, 2007 - there's still time!

(The 11 brave 2006 Grand Slam finishers at the Wasatch 100 - Darcy Africa, Dan Brendan, Bill Thom, Steve Douglas, Andy Knight, David Gordon, father/son team Keith and Gary Knipling, Mike Samuelson, Bruce Grant & Tim Englund; photo courtesy of

47-year-old Halke has run three 100-milers and 79 marathons, with respective best times of 25:12 and 3:28:33. You can read his 2005 Western States race report here. He started his ultra running in 2002 with a 9:26 finish at the JFK 50 where he "enjoyed himself way too much". If you see him at the races, be sure to cheer him on!

If you would like to help Halke in his quest, you can send a check to the American Cancer Society to 3211 N. Front St., Suite 100, Harrisburg, PA 17110.


  1. I heard that potential to GrandSlam is harder due to the WS100 lottery and the other three races filling up quickly within the first few weeks when they allow registration. So even if you register for the other three races and get in the moment they open, you could get shot down at WS100 when the lottery comes up (unless you're one of the exceptions to the lottery.)

  2. I've heard the lottery makes this race a tough one. Best of luck.

  3. I am not ready for the Grand Slam but I am dedicating my WS to the American Cancer Society. Best of luck to Dan. I'll be sure to look for him in Squaw Valley.

  4. That's great, Tim! Next time you stop by the blog, let us know where we can donate...


  5. Scott, Thank you for putting together this nice article about “our” Grand Slam effort, especially the fund raising effort for the American Cancer Society. I am truly touched.

    Friends refer to my running the Grand Slam as Don’s Grand Adventure. But what I am really seeing is that has become “All of our Grand Adventure”, as we travel down the trail of life. This is not just me running four races, but it is “WE” helping each other; my friends, pacers, crew supporting this crazy runner; friends and family supporting a cancer victim; friends and loved ones supporting each other when a loved one is lost to this terrible disease.

    My friend, Glenn Hoffman, is in the race for his life against colon cancer. He received some discouraging news last week. My running the Grand Slam is to honor and support him and everyone that has battled any serious illness. Medical science has made great advancements but must keep going….And so must I…

    Please say hello if you see me on the trail. It will mean a lot!


I LIVE for comments! Please add your thoughts, let me know you stopped by, etc., and be thoughtful of others. Always best if you sign your name, of course.