184 is an independant documentary film following Ryan Donnelly in his quest to run the entire state of New Jersey. The run will total 184 miles and will start at the northwest tip of NJ and end in Cape May, NJ. The film will follow and document Ryan's training, the mapping of the run, his weight loss, and of course the run itself, but more importantly it will inspire people of all ages to get up and get out. Begin taking control of your life and get fit. Following this journey, filmmaker Greg Lassik of Endless Wave Studios plans on giving you an inside look at what it takes to go from a hospital bed, to the 184.
On August 31, 2014 I was awoken at 2:00am with excruciating pain in the right side of my chest. The pain put me on the floor in agony. Before I knew it I was on my way to the emergency room to find out what was causing the stabbing feeling.
When the doctor explained to me what was going on, I was not too scared until I heard that I was being taken to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). I realized very quickly that my condition was more serious than I had gathered.
After a week hospital stay, I tested positive for a genetic disease called Factor Five. It is easily manageable with medication and taking good care of yourself which I obviously was not.
The week I was in the hospital, unable to see my son scared me. I kept thinking about what would happen to my beautiful wife and son if I was to pass away. The thought of it paralyzed me with fear and I made up my mind that I had to make some serious changes in my life.
I am a marine construction worker and a blue collar guy. I am extremely motivated to be successful. I spend a great deal of my time helping people find recovery from substance abuse which I have been clean from for over 5 years. All of the work I was putting in left me putting my health on the back burner. I put on a lot of weight, was not exercising like I used to and my body became toxic.
I used to run ultra marathons, races longer than 26.2 miles and had completed a few of them. A month after being released from the hospital, the doctor approved me to start exercising. I began running and working out like I had most of my life. I began thinking of a huge goal that could bring myself to a healthy state while accomplishing something I could be proud of. That is how the 184 mile run from High Point State Park to Cape May State Park arrived in my head. I have always wanted to run my home state of New Jersey and I made a decision that this was going to happen one year to the day that I was rushed to the hospital.
I reached out to Greg Lassik, who has been a friend of mine going back to Little League baseball in Toms River. I told Greg about my goal and asked if he would be interested in documenting the process and run. That is what lead us here now. Please follow our journey and support us. Thank you.
I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge.
I used to play every sport imaginable … soccer, basketball, skiing, baseball, dodgeball, volleyball, hockey, competitive wiffleball, you name it. I never imagined I’d be a runner until I started in 2010 and it opened up a world of new challenges. I have been pushing myself to go further and faster ever since. I have completed some runs that I never thought were possible 5 years ago. Running allows us ordinary people to reach some extraordinary goals.
I had a major setback in 2013 when a staph infection left me in the hospital for over a week. Like Ryan, the fear of not knowing what I was going through at first and the thoughts of my family were the most powerful motivators. I couldn’t run for almost 4 months, but found a way to complete my first 50 mile race soon after while still dealing with the after affects of the infection and surgery. Running undoubtedly helped me along the path to recovery.
I have a wonderfully supportive family here in New Jersey and running the length of this state is going to be something truly special for me. This 184-mile challenge is about finding out what I am capable of both physically and mentally. Most importantly, I want to inspire people to look within themselves and push the limits of what they think they can accomplish. We always surprise ourselves when we do.
Greg Lassik is a filmmaker who has owned Endless Wave Studios since he started the company in 2001. Filming mainly weddings and events for much of his career, his latest attention has been spent on documentary filmmaking. He has produced a short called Seize the Day which had great reviews and played in Paris, France. He is also a cinematographer on the film about Back To The Future called "Back In Time," which premiers in 2015. With this film, he intends to help Ryan Donnelly inspire people to take back their life and get healthy and stay that way. As of now (Dec. 2014) Greg is filming, editing, scoring and coloring the film all on his own, with hopes that others will help fund the film so that it can be everything it should be.
WHERE WE HAVE BEEN
Winding River Park, Toms River, NJ
Island Heights, NJ
Manassas Battlefield Park, VA
Bristol Motor Speedway, TN
Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Seaside, FL (Location of the filming of The Truman Show)
New York, NY
Central Park, NYC
Spring Lake, NJ