On an evening when many were watching some of the greatest
athletes in the world competing in Sochi, in Idaho Falls, a community favorite
was closing in on an athletic accomplishment of his own. A month ago we brought
you the story of one man’s journey around the Snake River greenbelt. Monday
evening he reached 6,000 miles walked on this popular walking path.
If the Tiger Den is Greg’s home away from home, the
greenbelt is his personal gym. This man with many nicknames has put foot to
pavement, ice or snow, every day since 2007. During this stretch he hasn’t
missed a lap, cut a corner or taken a day off for illness, injury, extreme
temperatures, or even fear. Monday, before embarking on the final lap of this
6,000 mile journey, we caught up with him to get his thoughts.
“Everyday…hard, cold, cold, blustery in the summertime,
really hot,” said Greg Hansen, Greenbelt Endurance Walker.
At this point, Greg thought this was the end of it. Friday,
he told us that a few of his fellow Tiger backers might be there to give him
some hot chocolate when he finished. What he didn’t know was that there were a
lot of people that were also planning on being there to celebrate with him.
“We wanted to come out and support Greg,” said Pete Molino,
Head Football Coach at Idaho Falls High School. “He’s been somebody that’s been
a guy that comes to all of our events, whether it’s been basketball, football,
for years. And he’s kind of a part of the tradition of Idaho Falls High School.”
“He’s been there to support us all the time and it’s going
to mean so much to us,” said Stacey Christensen, Head Cheerleading Coach at
Idaho Falls High School. “Win or lose, game will come and go but this moment
will live on for all of us always because he’s been there for us. And we are
just happy to share in this moment with him.”
No one will ever know what exactly was going through Greg’s
mind as he worked his way around the greenbelt. Perhaps he thought about the
vicious attack he received late one night while walking along the west bank. He
might have been thinking about his aching feet. Knowing Greg, he was probably
thinking about the Tiger’s upcoming home game against Blackfoot. And so it must
have meant the world to him as he rounded the corner to find so many of his
Tiger friends were waiting for him.
“I was just thinking they brought that big thing out just
for me,” said Greg. “So neat, awful nice.”
Greg told us back in January that his ultimate goal is to
walk 10,761 miles. That would be a little further than if he decided to walk
from the Snake River Greenbelt to Tokyo and back. Of course he would need a
really long snorkel or an extreme drought to do this. You can hear his reason
for walking that specific distance by watching our previous story at