Editor's Note: This article originally ran Oct. 17. Laurence Borst will be competing in the Tough Mudder competition Nov. 17 and is still fundraising for Glenn Lightner.
He lifts things up and puts them down.
Well, it’s more than that. He actually lifts himself over obstacles, through mud and between dangling electroshock wires while running miles on end.
Essentially, Larry Borst is one tough mudder.
He’s so tough that he’s taking on an invitation-only, 24-hour physical challenge, the World’s Toughest Mudder, scheduled for Nov. 17 and 18 at Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey.
It’s a challenge Borst is looking forward to and has been training religiously for–each day and two night sessions per week. But there’s more to this challenge than the previous three Tough Mudders he’s conquered, the most recent of which qualified him for the November event.
Borst, a Long Valley-lifer whose grandparents once owned farmland on Zellers Road, is modest and soft-spoken. Just like the young man he’s raising funds for and hoping to aid in a journey to cure cancer.
“When I heard about Glenn Lightner and what he was going through,” Borst said, “I knew we just had to do something.”
As he works full time, raises three children with his wife, Kristy, and trains incessantly for the upcoming challenge, Borst has added fundraising to his to-do list in conjunction with the Tough Mudder.
The competition will test contestants’ mental, physical, and emotional limits. Just some of the many reasons why Borst has been training in the dark of night.
“When I came home from a dinner meeting the other night,” Larry’s wife, Kristy said, “it was 9:30 and he was wearing shorts and sneakers. He went down to the high school track and ran a half marathon, came home and went to bed.”
Borst will attest, though, whatever he’s going through is nothing compared to what Lightner has faced since being diagnosed with brain cancer in 2007.
“I felt like, if I was going to raise money while doing this, I wanted to give directly to someone who needed it,” Borst said, as he played with his second son, Jake, one half of the family’s two and-a-half year-old twins. “With what happened to Jake, it really struck a chord.”
When Kristy went into labor with the twins, the process required an emergency cesarean section. When Jake was removed, doctors said he was full of fluids, Kristy Borst said, and was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for two weeks.
“That was hard for us,” Kristy Borst said. “So I can’t even imagine what (the Lightners) are going through. I feel like, like it’s your obligation as a citizen to do something to help. I feel like you’re supposed to do something with your life–not just watch what’s going on.”
Borst has been able to raise and garner pledges in the amount of $2,000 thus far, all benefitting the Lightner family. Donations can be pledged either in one-time shots or pledge a specific amount per lap that Borst completes during the challenge.
In the World’s Toughest Mudder challenge, there is no set amount of laps to complete, as there are in the regular competitions. Those who remain on the course and continue conquering obstacles at the end of the 24-hour mark will be considered finishers, Borst said.
Dinnertime ends and he heads to his backyard and begins to set up for his night session workout. He takes the sledgehammer he’ll use to pound monster truck tires out of the garage and unravels a thick, heavy rope he’ll use to build upper body strength.
Jake squeals with excitement from the garage while his daddy turns on the floodlight and organizes his homemade obstacles. Borst gets to work and doesn’t show any fear, focusing on the journey ahead of him.
Just like the brave young man he’s trying desperately to help.
To donate online, click here. See the attached PDF file for other donation information. For more information about Glenn Lightner and his journey to fight cancer, go here.