Friday, May 06, 2022

Former Colts TE Dallas Clark doing Ironman challenge to raise $2 million for charity


Nate Atkins

Indianapolis Star

This October, former Colts tight end Dallas Clark will be running 26.2 miles, swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112 miles, all in a single race.

It's an Ironman Challenge, with a target goal in mind: He's looking to raise $2 million to split between the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital and the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital.

To get ready for such an undertaking, he'll run the 500 Festival Mini Marathon on Saturday in Indianapolis. Back in the city where he played nine NFL seasons, Clark will train for the ironman challenge and recruit as many donors as he can.

"It's swim, run and bike. I feel like that's right up a tight end's alley," Clark said. "I have to go block the big, ugly defensive ends and then I have to go get open on the slow linebackers and safeties."

Clark, 42, was the 24th overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft. The Colts took him out of Iowa to become the chain-mover for an offense with Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James, Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne. Clark caught 427 passes and 46 touchdowns during his Colts run, topping out with 100 catches for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns as a first-team All-Pro in 2009. He started two Super Bowls, including when the Colts beat the Bears following the 2006 season.

Dallas Clark played nine seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and started in two Super Bowls. Matt Kryger

He signed a one-day contract to retire as a Colt in 2014, and he figured he'd have an easy retirement at that point. He went to work on an organic farm in Iowa and raised three children.

But now, a new challenge is calling him. He wanted to chase an aggressive athletic goal again, and now he's found a way to do so and to give back to two causes that have always mattered to him with his alma mater and with Manning's charity.

Clark will compete in October at the Ironman world championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. His goal is to finish the race in less than 12 hours.

"My goal is constantly changing because I'm doing stuff right now that I've never done before," Clark said. "It's crazy to me to go out and run for 45 minutes before I start getting tired. Even in my best shape of football, never could I do that. It's just a complete switch of training."

He's not holding such lofty goals for this weekend's half-marathon in Indianapolis, as the bigger goal is to spread the word and raise donations. As of Thursday afternoon, he was up to $269 raised of the $2 million goal, so he has work to do this weekend.

Those interested in contributing can visit his page on the Ironman Foundation website.

He's excited for the adrenaline rush of competition again, but he's also invested in the outcome.

"Kids with illnesses and kids in this world have a huge place in my heart," he said.

Contact Colts insider Nate Atkins at natkins@indystar.comFollow him on Twitter @NateAtkins_.

Popular Posts