Tim Gore remembers the challenges of living in poverty. Roaming through Tennessee and Arkansas in the 1970s, he and his father, Larry Gore, were essentially homeless, often sleeping on a relative's couch.
"We had a house for a while," he said. "And my bedroom had a hole in the ceiling. There was a big rat that lived in the house and dad slept with a gun to try to kill it. We never did get that rat."
Larry was a good man who often volunteered to help others in need. But gainful employment eluded him. Family members saved them.
"We lived with my grandma, slept on the couch at my aunt's house," Tim says. "If it hadn't been for family, if we wouldn't have had help from local organizations and missions and churches that help the impoverished, we may not have made it."
Tim Gore remembers, and he is determined to help those affected by homelessness. On Aug. 22, Gore will step to the starting line of the Leadville Trail 100, one of the most challenging ultra runs in the country, to raise money for Springs Rescue Mission, where he works as director of community relations.
The goal is to raise $100,000 with his "100 Miles With a Mission" project. Those wanting to donate should visit springsrescuemission.org/sponsor-tim.
"We're asking $1 per mile," Gore said. "But there are different levels, so anyone can get involved."
Springs Rescue Mission, 5. W. Las Vegas St., helps the area's homeless population, offering meals, shelter, job training and an addiction recovery program. According to its 2014 annual report, Springs Rescue Mission served 289,000 meals and provided 27,000 nights of shelter, 43,000 hours of job training and 3,900 hours of addiction counseling.
Gore, 48, is a man of the community, the founder and president of Run With a Mission, a separate nonprofit that organizes running events benefiting worthy local causes. He also has served on the board of directors for Pikes Peak Road Runners and Seeds Community Café.
He runs for hours each day. Packing along water bottles, a snack and a couple of bucks for coffee emergencies, he'll dash off to work or to meet with friends.
"It has been a great adventure since I decided I was going to do this," he says. "I'm basically going to run everywhere right now. I don't even need a car."
Running 100 miles at one time had been his goal, but he failed to gain entry in the Leadville Trail 100 lottery — thousands attempt to enter the race, but space is limited. Creating 100 Miles With a Mission provided entry to the race — and extra motivation.
He'll need all the motivation he can muster. The Leadville 100 is contested in the thin air of Colorado's high country at an average of about 10,000 feet elevation. It is famous for breaking the planet's toughest ultrarunners.
"I'm going to finish it," Gore says. "That's why you do it. Doubt does creep in, because greater people than me have tried and failed. But I'm going to do it. One hundred miles ... it's a challenge, it's a milestone. It has been my goal for a long time. And now, to try to raise $100,000 for Springs Rescue Mission. I have to do it."
He'll be supported by a team of 10 who will keep him fed and hydrated, and pace him when the miles get ugly and the protests of his mind and body encourage him to surrender.
Mary Baldwin, office manager for the Pikes Peak Marathon, jumped at the chance to join Gore's Leadville 100 effort.
"I love the sport and everything it's given me and is still giving me," Baldwin says. "I'm so excited to give back to that community and support an important local cause — Springs Rescue Mission — at the same time. Really, is there any better way to spend a weekend than romping about the mountains with cool people?"
It has been 35 years since poverty bulldozed through Tim Gore's life. He remembers, and he's not going to forget those now afflicted with the same.
One hundred miles. He can do it.
One hundred thousand dollars. Can you?