Phil Carlitz, son of bedding veteran Stuart Carlitz, and his friend Andrew Hudis have been named among the “152 Inspiring Heroes” of 2009 by Runner’s World magazine. The two organized and took part in the first Rustic Pathways Tribe–to–Tribe Marathon held in Thailand.
The marathon benefited “Karen” refugees, a minority group forced to flee persecution in Myanmar. The race, which drew 550 runners from around the world, raised $10,000 for a Thai orphanage caring for Karen children. Most of the funds will be used to cover education costs.
Carlitz and Hudis first learned of the plight of the Karen people in July 2008, when participating in Rustic Pathways, a global community service program that took them to Southeast Asia. The 16–year–olds resolved to do something to help the Karen children they met and now have committed to help run the marathon for a decade. Their goal is to raise $250,000 annually for the refugees.
Eclipse International, which has factories in and around Thailand, will continue as a corporate sponsor for future Tribe–to–Tribe marathons, said Stuart Carlitz, chief executive officer of Eclipse International and Eastman House.