For most people, the thought of running 26 miles is enough to drive them to the couch with a bag of Doritos.
For White Salmon's Peter Knowles, it's a chance to share the challenge of running 26 miles -- with a house on his back.
Knowles is planning to run in the Portland Marathon on Oct. 6, and to keep himself moving, he wants to carry a load of financial pledges to support construction of a house by the mid-Columbia affiliate of Habitat for Humanity.
"I wanted to do something to help our neighbors," Knowles said.
He's looking for per-mile pledges, flat dollar amount pledges, or even "kicker" pledges if he beats his target time of three hours, 10 minutes.
Knowles also ran the marathon last year. As he contemplates his second run, he saw an opportunity to help raise funds for the new Habitat affiliate.
The newly established affiliate is kicking off a major fundraising campaign it calls "Hundreds for Habitat." It is hoping to convince 1,000 donors to pledge the equivalent of 27 cents a day for a year. If it achieves its goal, it will have raised $100,000 by the end of the year to help buy a lot and finance construction of a home.
Having financial support behind his run would help him finish, Knowles said.
"There are stretches when it really helps to know that you're running for a reason," he said. "I'm hoping that my efforts will pay off for our new chapter. If nothing else, I'll have motivation to keep my feet moving."
To make a pledge of money or time, call Knowles at 493-1839, or by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The local chapter of Habitat for Humanity can be reached at: 493-3720.