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Mike Hill teams up with former Marlins to test limits, raise money with 777 Marathon

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Hill joins Jeff Conine, David Samson and P.J. Loyello on “Team Hold the Plane,” attempting to run around the world to benefit 11 charities.

Hill (second to the left) and Samson (third to the left) ran in October’s Chicago Marathon as part of their training.
Photo courtesy of 777 Marathon

This winter, you’ve likely seen MLB players boast about their training regimen with #NoOffseason posts on social media. But Miami Marlins president of baseball operations Mike Hill has taken the cliché to heart.

Longtime colleague David Samson—removed from his role with the club after the 2017 ownership change—recruited him to “Team Hold the Plane,” WSVN reports. Hill, Samson, “Mr. Marlin” Jeff Conine and former executive P.J. Loyello are joining 12 other brave individuals to form one of the groups competing in the ambitious World Marathon Challenge. Beginning next Tuesday, they’ll attempt to run seven marathons (26.2 miles each) in seven days on all seven continents.

If you thought baseball’s regular season featured some grueling road trips, take a peek at this insane schedule:

2018 World Marathon Challenge Schedule

Date Activity
Date Activity
Jan. 28 Recommended Arrival at Cape Town, South Africa
Jan. 29 Pre-Departure Briefings for Antarctica
Jan. 30 Flight to Marathon location at Novo, Antarctica. Marathon in Antarctica
Jan. 31 Marathon in Cape Town + Flight to Perth
Feb. 1 Marathon in Perth + Flight to Dubai
Feb. 2 Marathon in Dubai + Flight to Lisbon
Feb. 3 Marathon in Lisbon + Flight to Cartagena
Feb. 4 Marathon in Cartagena + Flight to Miami
Feb. 5 Marathon in Miami
Feb. 6 Free to Return Home
Source: World Marathon Challenge
Photo by 777 Marathon

Don’t let Hill’s thick physical frame concern you—he’s been completing marathons for at least the past decade, according to the event’s website. The former minor leaguer still needed a lot of convincing, though.

“It’s not an easy sell,” Hill admitted to WSVN, “but then when you think about the charitable component of it and the awareness you bring to what you’re trying to do, it made all the sense in the world.”

The 16 members of Team Hold the Plane are on a mission to raise $2 million to be allocated toward 11 charities:

  • ALS Association
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of America
  • Camp Interlaken
  • Challenged Athletes Foundation
  • Conine Clubhouse
  • Jewish Federation of Broward County
  • Marlins Foundation
  • Martin Richard Foundation
  • Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
  • Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • Stand Up To Cancer
Team Hold the Plane training together at Disney’s Goofy Challenge
Photo by @jic9er/Twitter

In total, there will be 54 race participants from various countries attempting the challenge next week. Each of them has been assigned an individual number: Samson is No. 3, Loyello is No. 8, Conine is No. 19 (duh!) and Hill is No. 23.

Elite athletes come in all shapes and sizes, which sets up this delightful Samson and Conine side-by-side GIF:

Original video by WSVN

While Hill is preoccupied with the 777 Marathon and then FanFest on Feb. 10, don’t expect any more seismic transactions from the Marlins heading into spring training.

To learn more or donate yourself, please visit 777marathon.com