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Memphian runs 100 miles to help local group HopeWorks

"I wanted to be able to serve and to bring attention to a great organization,” said Wes Williams, 100-mile ultra marathon runner.

MEMPHIS, Tenn — When it comes to helping others in need, Mid-Southerners always go the extra mile. 

One Memphis resident decided to go 100 miles on foot in order to raise awareness for a good cause. 

Local 24 News Reporter Brittani Moncrease introduces us to Wes Williams, an ultra marathon runner supporting the group HopeWorks.

It took 22-hours and 14-minutes.

Memphian Wes Williams powered through for hope.

“I decided that if I was going to do something like this that, I didn’t want it to be a selfish thing. I wanted to be able to serve and to bring attention to a great organization,” said Williams, 100-mile ultra marathon runner.  

Williams ran the Tunnel Hill 100-Mile Trail Run to support Hopeworks, an organization helping people get jobs. 

Ron Wade is the Executive Director.

“Sometimes those barriers can be people in incarceration, people who may not have a high school diploma, or some coming out of generational poverty,” said Wade.

From sunup to sundown, each step was an inspiration.  

“There were times where I wasn’t sure whether I was going to make it. It was really hard. I thought I can’t stop. I’m trying to do this to help them. How would that look? I’ve never quit a race and I certainly didn’t want to start quitting now,” said Wade. “I just couldn’t imagine anybody running 100-miles. I mean that is just so incredible. We’ve tried to promote it and most of the time when people hear about it, they say, ‘He’s doing what?’ They can’t believe that.” 

Believe it.

As he crossed the finish line, Williams heard the sound of triumph for himself and those he support. 

“HopeWorks is able to provide expertise to help them get their life back on track as my friends helped me get my race on track and be able to finish,” said Williams. 

“When I think about Wes and that last 50-miles and wanting to give up, it’s a great inspiration. I think although our staff don’t run 100-miles, in their own way, they walk along side and don’t give up. They don’t give up on people,” said Wade.

It is a stride worth the pace. 

“I never had a race bib look this beat up before. Sometimes, you have to go through some really hard things in life to get to things that are worth wild,” said Williams.

After hearing about Williams' 100-mile run for HopeWorks, the group has been receiving more help and donations. 

HopeWorks helps people in Memphis and the Mid-South find meaningful employment through three main programs: 1. Adult Education We help people access essential educational opportunities, including high school equivalency degrees and English language courses. 2. Employment Services We work to eliminate restrictive barriers and aid Memphians as they pursue viable, passion-filled career opportunities.


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