Chances are, if you live in Indianapolis, been involved with the Verizon IndyCar Series or the Mazda Road to Indy or been on any sort of training regimen related program in that general area, you’ve heard of Jim Leo and PitFit Training.
And when you have IndyCar drivers noting that Leo is a boss and killing it like he did over the weekend, when he turned 50 and rowed 50,000 meters (50 km) for charity, you take notice.
Leo, owner and founder of Indianapolis-based PitFit Training, celebrated his 50th birthday by shooting to raise $1,000 for the Children’s Research Hospital through “Birthdays for St. Jude.”
But the motorsports community joined together to raise more than $4,000 as a result – $4,005 in total – with all proceeds going directly to the hospital.
Scott Dixon, who won his fourth IndyCar championship in August, took a timeout from his January schedule of preparing for the Rolex 24 at Daytona to join Leo in rowing that same amount. They completed the rowing in three hours and 32 minutes, and burned roughly 2,500 calories.
“I thought Jim was kind of crazy when he brought it up,” Dixon said. “Obviously people don’t do this kind of stuff on their birthday. Jim is a hell of an athlete in his own right, and he always tries to set milestones for his birthdays, especially the big ones.
“50,000 meters is definitely a feat for most people. I’m not even sure how many have done it at one time on a rower. I thought all I could do was come join along and help out, if I could. It was a lot of fun. He’s a machine. At 50 years old, it’s crazy.”
“It’s very special to celebrate your 50th birthday doing something that you love, raising money for a tremendous cause, and doing it alongside your best friend,” an exhausted Leo added.
“Having the support of the racing community and having your best friend and everyone you care for near you is the best present anyone could receive. As painful as it was, I’m extremely proud to have achieved this with Scott.”
Here’s an assortment of social media posts from the event, as others such as James Hinchcliffe and Pippa Mann were also present: