FLORENCE, Ky. — A Northern Kentucky doctor is getting set to run 100 miles for the second time in Florida this weekend to fundraise for victims of child abuse and neglect. 

What You Need To Know

  • Florence doctor Rob Tagher is going to run 100 miles in Florida to fundraise for child abuse victims

  • Tagher completed the race once before in 2017, raising more than $20,000

  • The money he raises this year will go to the Northern Kentucky Children’s Advocacy Center to help hire and train new staff

  • Find out how to sponsor Tagher and follow his progress below

When he’s not treating patients, Dr. Rob Tagher can probably be found running a distance most people would find too intimidating to attempt. It’s something he started in 2005. By 2008, he had run his first marathon (a mere 26.2 miles compared to what he’s about to attempt).

“As I started running, I realized that I fared better against my peers the longer the distance was, even if I was going a little slower,” Tagher said.

As a private pediatrician, Tagher’s professional life is dedicated to the health of children. While it might not be clear, he’s dedicated a sizable chunk of his non-professional life to that cause as well through running.

At the point when marathons become simple warmups to the race he’s about to run, a great deal of dedication isn’t optional. It’s mandatory.

“If I’m not ready by now, I’m not gonna be. But it is the time when I’m getting a lot of nerves and things like that,” Tagher said Thursday from the airport in Atlanta, en route to the Florida Keys. “The race should take anywhere from 18 to 24 hours.”

Indeed, that’s how long it takes to run 100 miles continuously, at least for Tagher. He’s been training since before the start of 2022.

“You do sort of have to ramp up the mileage in the training to be able to do that,” he said.

On Friday night (May 20), Tagher will drive with his support team from Key West, Florida to Key Largo. Saturday morning (May 21), at 6:06 AM, he’ll start running back to Key West.

It’s the KEYS100 Ultramarathon, which Tagher completed once before in 2017, winning the masters division and finishing seventh overall.

Besides running marathons and 30-mile runs to prepare, Tagher has also tried to ready his body for the Florida heat, by sitting in saunas, and driving around in his car with the heat and seat heaters on.

“There’s no big secret. You just keep on running until you’re done. But you do stop and take walking breaks. You’re constantly drinking to keep yourself hydrated. Fortunately, I have a great crew with me,” he said.

Local Northern Kentucky area runners run with him every Saturday and Tuesday night. Four of them will be in Florida with him, helping to bring him fluids and food.

Tagher was fundraising for the Northern Kentucky Children’s Advocacy Center during his first ultramarathon, and will do so this time around as well. He’s a member of the board of directors for NKYCAC.

NKYCAC provides a coordinated response to child abuse in a child-focused environment, offering prevention, evaluation, and treatment to children and families. Last year, NKYCAC served over 800 children in Northern Kentucky who were physically, sexually and emotionally abused.

Through sponsorships, Tagher raised more than $20,000 in 2017.

“And I’m trying to get a little more than that this time,” he said.

The money he raises this time will go toward hiring and training new staff at NKYCAC.

“Fortunately, I’m not exposed to that side of health care every day. But it is something that comes up in our office weekly or monthly, and it’s a really hard thing to deal with. It takes a special kind of person to take care of those kids and families,” Tagher said. “And it’s not an easy thing to come by. You know, everybody’s having trouble finding staff nowadays, and finding a special person like that, and being able to train them adequately, is difficult. It takes money to do those things properly.”

Abuse and neglect can happen anywhere, he said, even in the places people least expect it.

“There’s families we’ve taken care of in our practice for years that we’ve been very surprised to find out that something like that’s been going on. So it’s tough, and it’s something that nobody wants to think about, much less talk about,” Tagher said.

Tagher will probably still be running past midnight on Sunday (May 22).

“You are destroyed at the end of it, for better or for worse, but it’s about getting it done, and getting to the finish line,” he said.

But by the end, he said, each of the 100 miles will be worth the blood, sweat and tears to change just one kid’s life. He just needs the help of willing sponsors.

“Whatever sacrifice you can make is very helpful,” Tagher said.

Anyone can support Tagher’s efforts by texting ROB100 to 53555, or by clicking this link.

You can find additional information on NKYCAC’s website.

People can also follow the Northern Kentucky Children’s Advocacy Center on Facebook to watch and receive updates on Tagher’s progress.

Learn more about the race on the KEYS100 website.