LINCOLN CITY - Jason Zacher runs for money, but he's not a professional athlete, just a generous one.
Zacher, longtime Lincoln City and newly transplanted Sherwood resident, is at it again, making life better for others.
"I love the satisfaction of being able to help," he said.
The 41-year-old 1989 Taft High 7-12 graduate will be in demand of your help this spring when he again pounds the pavement in exchange for financial aid for the needy.
"I don't think people understand sometimes the sacrifice and commitment it takes," he said.
What people do know, and have exhibited time and again, Zacher said, is how to help make his many imaginative money-making missions successful. They'll have another chance this spring when he hightails it out of Portland and runs 100 miles nonstop to Lincoln City for the benefit of military service veterans.
His latest endeavor -- the Angels Flight 100 -- calls for a torturous trek in unknown conditions from Waterfront Park in Portland to the start/finish line of the Lincoln City Half Marathon, scheduled Sunday, March 3, He plans to leave Portland around 2 p.m. the previous day and run through the night to the finish line while the annual local race is under way.
"I have always wanted to do something for veterans because they have given so much to the rest of us," he said.
Zachery also will be running for the Salvation Army Veterans Family Center in Beaverton, which houses homeless vets and provides medical and drug treatment, food and job support to veterans. Specifically, Zacher's grueling run will go toward construction of a wheelchair ramp to a courtyard/garden and a wheelchair accessible shower.
"It is a tall order, but I am excited to do what I can to help," he said.
Given Zacher's running history, it's a wonder he'd even be making a 10-mile trek. let alone 100. After 20 years without running a race, Zacher began training with Richard Joachim, operator of Fitness 101 in Lincoln City, in February 2011 with the intent of competing again after being just an average runner and competing in his last race at the end of his senior year at Taft in 1989.
"I was not a good runner at all in high school," said Zacher, who did not compete in any other sports/
Surprising virtually everyone -- and stunning himself -- Zacher won his first race of any kind in nearly two decades.
Bolstered by his surprising victory, Zacher began training for a half-marathon, a distance he had never run, and finished 32nd in the Oregon Wine Country Half-Marathon in September 2011 in Dayton. Shortly thereafter, he posted his best time in the Holiday Half-Marathon in Portland and finished 17th against a field of more than 2,000 runners.
"I kept having people asking me if I ever considered running for charity and I loved the idea," he said. "Angels Anonymous was a charity very special to me because of all that they do for people."
In March 2011 at the Lincoln City Half Marathon, Zacher staged his first running fundraiser by starting the race in last place, one full second behind the pack. Making money for each person he passed en route to placing eighth, Zacher raised more than $3,000.
At the Lincoln City Relay for Life in August 2012, Zacher ran 210 laps or 52.4 miles around the Taft High track to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.
"With the Lincoln City Half Marathon approaching again, I wanted to do something really special to raise money again for Angels Anonymous," he said. "I really wanted to keep this great and growing race as part of my fundraising."
To prepare, Zacher surpassed 1,800 miles of running in 2012 last week.
"I have to train for hours a week to be able to have a chance to complete the 100-miler," he said. "The joy it gives me far surpasses anything I got from winning a race, though. I love the challenge."
Donations can be made at
http://www.causes.com/actions/1719258. All payments will go directly to Angels Anonymous with no site fee. Checks also can be made payable to Angels Anonymous or emailed to email@example.com or leave a message on the Facebook page. Pledges can be made at any time with collection in March.
T-shirts with a logo he designed himself on the front and run sponsors on the back will be sold with all proceeds benefitting Angels Anonymous.
Zacher is seeking more sponsors in addition to those already or previously involved in his fundraising events, which include Fitness 101, Papa Murphy`s, Larry Garrison/Windermere Real Estate, Pacific Grind Coffee, Lincoln City Realty LLC; Bales Marketplace and the Oregon Beef Council.
"I hope this is my best event yet because it is by far the toughest," Zacher said. "The 52-miler hurt like heck, so I'm sure this will be twice the fun."