Location: Abbott Park, Ill.
For most people who like to run for a cause, a marathon is an achievement. But when Mike Sheehy’s friend was diagnosed with leukemia, he decided to go the extra mile (and then many more): he ran from San Diego to Phoenix, polishing off his run with a marathon in the Arizona city when he arrived. Over the course of those 17 days, he ran 500 miles and raised over $30,000 for cancer research. But Sheehy, who oversees technology purchases at Abbott (No. 134), the healthcare company, was just getting started: “I realized we needed to keep doing this, so I said, let’s go break the Guinness Book of World Records.” At the time, the record distance run in seven days was 350 miles, and Sheehy set out to beat that. On his next vacation, he ran the equivalent of two and a half marathons almost every day, allowing himself just five hours of sleep each night—a clip that blew the old mark out of the water. In all, he ran 408 miles and raised $50,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. “I’m just hopeful that I’ll find the lucky buck that makes the cure,” he says. He might not have achieved that yet, but his world record is still unbroken.