DETROIT – Ben Davis, a Metro Detroit veteran, suffered numerous injuries while overseas.
After three tours in the Middle East, doctors told Davis he would barely be able to walk again, would always feel pain and would never run again. He gained weight, and at about 400 pounds, struggled to get out of bed.
After changing his diet, losing nearly 200 pounds and starting to run, Davis is in better shape and ready to run for 22 hours straight on Belle Isle over the weekend to raise awareness for veteran suicides.
“The whole reason I started was to help veterans, to raise awareness of what’s possible,” Davis said. “From 2008 to 2011, I lost 13 friends to suicide."
An average of 22 veterans die by suicide each day.
Davis’ journey started in September 2017.
“They said, ‘You’re going to be in pain. You’re never going to run, never do a lot of things,’" he said. “So, I was like, ‘I’m going to run.’ So I did.”
By November 2017, Davis was able to run 10 miles. That 10 miles became ultramarathons.
An ultramarathon is any race longer than a traditional 26.219 marathon. Last year, Davis ran one every single month.
Davis said he runs to provide hope for other veterans who may be struggling.
“I’ve been there, done that and I’ve come out the other side, and so many others feel they can’t,” he said. “If I can help them to keep going, then that’s what I want to do.”