Chabuz Puts His Ego Aside To Raise Money for Wounded Veterans During 8 Tuff Miles


For the second year in a row, Skinny Legs owner Moe Chabuz is running the 8 Tuff Miles road race on Saturday, February 26, for a cause.
Chabuz, who has several marathons under his belt, is putting his ego aside and not worrying about  his finishing time to raise money for the wounded warrior organization Team River Runner.

(Left to Right) Moe Chabuz with TRR’s Dana Alexander, Ashley Zamora and Gary Clarke, during the group’s trip last year.

Launched at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. in 2004 by kayak enthusiast guidance counselor Joe Mornini who volunteered at the hospital, TRR now has branches at veterans’ hospitals across the country.

The group’s premise is simple, but profound — to affect real health and healing for active duty service members and wounded veterans through paddling sports. Volunteers teach the basics of kayaking to veterans and service members in a pool and then get them out on group trips to put their skills to the test while creating strong support systems.

TRR has been to St. John three times and is planning a fourth trip in the fall. The cost of flying 20 veterans to the island is daunting and the group relies on donations from the community. Chabuz’s eight-mile race last year netted $10,000 for the TRR St. John trip, which helped off-set the roughly $40,000 price tag.

Chabuz raises funds by starting at the very back of the 8 Tuff Miles pack — this year capped at 1,000 participants — and getting pledges for each person he passes on his way to the finish line.

The 61-year-old runner finished the race last year in one hour and 17 minutes and passed about 700 runners along the way. While claiming to be a bit slower this year, Chabuz is sure to cruise by the majority of runners and walkers in the 15th annual road race.

“I am older and slower and I’m getting over some injuries,” said Chabuz. “But what it comes down to is that it’s so important for these guys to come down here and heal. So what the hell, it’s more important to see them here than for me to get a good time.”

Chabuz’s TRR fundraiser last year was supported by many people which encouraged the restaurant owner and avid runner to lace up his shoes for TRR again, he explained.

“A lot of people were really generous,” said Chabuz. “Everything from little kids giving me change to people just writing $1,000 checks. Even during the race, as I was running by someone said, ‘Hey Moe, I got you for $500.’”

To donate to Chabuz’s 8 Tuff Mile TRR fundraiser, check out the website or stop by the iconic Coral Bay bar and restaurant and make a pledge.

Chabuz will be accepting donations until the day of the race, February 26. Go Moe!