Two friends have decided to go the distance for Dance Marathon. That distance is about 120 miles — from Orlando to Gainesville.
Cody Lee, from the University of Central Florida, and Kevin Tayon, a 20-year-old UF business administration junior, are walking from Orlando’s Arnold Palmer Medical Center to UF Health Shands Hospital starting at daybreak Nov. 22, Tayon said. He said the duo plans to finish the walk by Nov. 26.
So far, Lee and Tayon have raised about $330. Their goal is $2,000, which Tayon said will mostly come from sponsors pledging a certain amount of money for each mile they walk.
Tayon said he and Lee decided to do the walk after Lee attempted it last year as a Valentine’s Day surprise for his girlfriend. He was unsuccessful because he tried to do it without sleep and became too exhausted.
When Lee approached Tayon about attempting the walk again, this time they wanted to do it for a cause.
“Dance Marathon was the easiest way to help people out and go on our walk,” Tayon said.
But they are also doing it for more than just Dance Marathon.
“As far as why we’re walking from Orlando to Gainesville, we’re symbolically bringing UCF and UF together,” he said.
He said both schools participate in Dance Marathon, but there isn’t much else that unites the institutions. In this way, they are uniting the two communities.
Tayon said he isn’t doing much to prepare himself physically for the journey. He used to run half-marathons and marathons and tries hard to live an active lifestyle.
Now, he’s simply drinking water and is working on putting a long playlist together on his iPod.
He said they chose the weekend of Nov. 22 to start their trek because it worked well for them, and they didn’t want to risk putting it off and not actually following through.
Eitan Schapsis, a 20-year-old UF public relations junior and a friend of both walkers, said he was proud his friends decided to do the walk.
He said they will create a hashtag to generate awareness of the walk, but they haven’t chosen it yet.
“Hopefully, they’ll make a splash,” he said.
More information on how to donate is available on the project’s Facebook page: goo.gl/j8Rzez.
A version of this story ran on page 1 on 11/6/2013 under the headline "Students to walk from Orlando to Gainesville for DM"