Dan Mullen knows how to traverse rough terrain -- he's coached the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the feisty SEC since 2009. But on April 18, Mullen will be traversing a different road: the 2016 Boston Marathon.

After a conversation with Adidas last year, Mullen was granted a sponsor's exemption, meaning he didn't need to quality to enter the race. What Mullen did do, though, is run a whole lot more than he ever had. Mullen said he runs around six miles every morning since deciding to participate in the race, and sometimes even longer on the weekends.

The marathon will be a return home of sorts for Mullen, who went to high school in Manchester, New Hampshire, about 70 miles north of Hopkinton, Massachusetts, the official start of the Boston Marathon.

Throughout this process, Mullen has been raising money through his family's Mullen 36 Foundation, which helps kids in Mississippi with a focus on education, scholarship, the arts, athletics, and healthcare. Over $375,000 has been raised by the foundation in the past three years. This year, Mullen's goal is to raise $36,000. So far, they've raised $24,000.