Extreme Athlete Tom Jones Paddleboards 1,500 Miles to Clean Up the Oceans

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Photo: Plastic Free Ocean

We've seen some pretty crazy stuff from stand-up paddlers recently, but challenge extreme athlete Tom Jones has been taking on for the last three months puts all other stunts to shame. Since May 13, Jones has been paddling 1,500 miles from Key West to New York City, on pace to break his own world record, which he set in 2007. But, Jones says, this journey is about more than his own accomplishments. It's an effort to raise awareness and funds to benefit the Plastic Free Ocean campaign.

Jones, who also dabbles in martial arts (seven time professional Muay Thai boxing champion) and distance running (in 2000, he ran a marathon a day for four months straight), bills himself as an extreme athlete, motivational speaker, humanitarian, and child advocate. His website puts it best:

Tom Jones is called an "extreme" athlete. But when people hear what he has accomplished, more often than not, they ask if "extreme" is an "extreme" enough word to describe him.

Adding ocean advocate to an already impressive list, Jones has set out to raise $500,000 for Plastic Free Ocean, to be used to raise awareness about the evils of pollution and to clean plastic from the oceans.

Jones' arrival in New York City's Battery Park, scheduled for August 28, will be celebrated with green vendors, food, speakers on sustainability, and entertainment, hosted by Wyndham Worldwide's Wyndham Green initiative. Until his arrival, you can track his progress on Facebook. Jones' journey is an incredible one (it makes me feel as if I should be running up a mountain while writing this), and for a great cause: the plastic polluting the ocean is out of control, and it's everyone's problem.