FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) His 9 to 5 job requires him to bike dozens of miles each day, but Eddie Ramos got much more mileage on his tires over the last few days.
Ramos rode his bicycle to Vermont – nearly a thousand miles – to compete in two marathons. Tuesday night at a party at Human Motor Works, the downtown Jimmy John’s sandwich deliveryman was honored for his work. Ramos was joined by friends, family, and co-workers who congratulated him on his journey.
Over the weekend, Ramos ran an obstacle course half marathon in seven hours on Saturday. He followed that with a full marathon on Sunday, which was expected to take 14 hours, but Ramos was only able to compete in about half of the race before dropping out due to fatigue. “My ankle started to hurt,” he said. “I wanted to keep going, but couldn’t.”
To get to Vermont, Ramos biked close to a hundred miles a day. “I rode through a tornado on my second day,” said Ramos, who stopped to take pictures to update friends and family on his progress. “Most of the time it was really cold. I had to stop and buy a sweatshirt and a jacket.”
Ramos also stopped at several Jimmy John’s restaurants along this journey to meet workers at other stores.
Without Ramos’ knowledge, his boss, Marika Hamilton-Meeks got Eddie’s story out, and several people stepped up to show him his work was inspirational to others.
“He has proven through this that he’s not just a good employee, but he’s also an outstanding example for all young people,” Hamilton-Meeks told NewsChannel 15, who added that she was hesitant to hire Eddie at first. A downtown deliveryman, on a bike, takes a lot of work and can be very demanding to get around the city quickly.
To celebrate his work, Ramos was given two bicycles. One was from the founder of Jimmy John’s, Jimmy John Liautaud. The other was from professional cyclist Michael Hickman, who donated his bicycle that he used in a Tour De France.
“I knew my family was supporting me,” Ramos said. “But all the people who decided to help who I never met before, that was surprising.”
Hamilton-Meeks started an online campaign to help raise money for Eddie’s trips. Click here to learn more about the campaign. So far, more than $5,000 has been collected.
Custom Engineering and Fabrication has offered to cover Eddie’s hotel and travel expenses. Eddie plans to bike to Chicago on Thursday for an upcoming race.
Eddie received several new biking clothes, some donated by Jimmy John’s and others donated by Human Motor Works.